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(LEAD) Seoul stocks close slightly higher on institutional buying

All Headlines 17:03 August 09, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at the bottom)

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks finished slightly higher Thursday as institutions scooped up large-cap shares, offsetting a massive-selling spree by foreigners after China announced retaliatory tariffs against the United States. The South Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index was up 2.26 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 2,303.71. Trade volume was moderate with 238.14 million shares worth 5.8 trillion won (US$5.2 billion) changing hands and losers outpacing gainers 423 to 382.

Foreigners offloaded a net 216.9 billion won, while individual and institutional investors purchased a net 14.9 billion won and 134.3 billion won, respectively.

"There is no particular negative factor affecting the local bourse besides the U.S.-China trade frictions," said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities.

Most large-cap shares ended mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics edged up 0.21 percent to 46,900 won to continue a five-day winning streak. SK hynix, a major chipmaker, lost 2.26 percent to end at 78,000 won.

Shares of biopharmaceutical companies gained ground with Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, adding 1.32 percent to end at 460,000 won, to continue five consecutive days of gains and Celltrion was unchanged at 276,000 won.

Leading mobile gamemaker Netmarble plunged 11.27 percent to 126,000 won. A day earlier, the company said its second-quarter operating income decreased 40.8 percent on-year to 62.2 billion won.

The South Korean currency closed at 1,117.2 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.7 won from the last session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 2 basis points to 2.050 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds lost 3.1 basis points to 2.290 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks close slightly higher on institutional buying - 1

khj@yna.co.kr
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