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Seoul stocks end tad higher on foreign buying

All Headlines 16:00 August 08, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed mildly higher Wednesday as foreign investors scooped up large-cap shares, offsetting a massive selling spree by institutions amid eased tension over trade friction. The South Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched up 1.29 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,301.45. Trade volume was moderate at 288 million shares worth 5 trillion won (US$4.5 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 424 to 369.

Foreigners bought a net 140 billion won worth of shares on the main exchange, while individual and institutional investors offloaded a net 13 billion won and 183.9 billion won, respectively.

The Seoul index had initially opened a tad lower but soon turned to positive terrain on foreign buying, which tracked overnight advances on Wall Street. On Tuesday (local time), the U.S. markets posted solid gains, with the Dow Jones rising 0.5 percent. The broader S&P 500 added 0.28 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.31 percent.

"The U.S. and Chinese stocks both gained ground amid hopes of eased tensions over trade friction, and this has positively affected the local bourse," said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co.

Most large-cap stocks had a mixed day of trading, with banking and bio shares leading the gains.

Top cap Samsung Electronics ended at 46,800 won, up 0.23 percent from the previous session's close, to continue a four-day winning streak. Earlier in the day, the tech giant announced that it plans to invest 180 trillion won over the next three years, apparently in response to the South Korean government's request to expand investment and employment.

Its smaller rival LG Electronics added 1.07 percent to 75,900 won. Chipmaker SK hynix, meanwhile, lost 1.12 percent to 79,800 won.

Shares of biopharmaceutical companies gained ground, with Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, jumping 7.08 percent to end at 454,000 won, and Celltrion was up 0.55 percent at 276,000 won.

The South Korean currency closed at 1,119.9 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.9 won from Tuesday's close.

Seoul stocks end tad higher on foreign buying - 1

khj@yna.co.kr
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