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(LEAD) Seoul stocks shoot up 1.31 pct on Fed rate cut hopes, Mexico tariff deal

All News 16:41 June 10, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS details in fifth para; bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks gained more than 1 percent to rise for the third consecutive session on Monday amid hopes for U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate cuts and eased tax friction between the United States and Mexico. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) climbed 27.16 points, or 1.31 percent, to 2,099.49. Trading volume was moderate at 452.1 million shares worth 4.13 trillion won (US$3.57 billion), with winners far outnumbering losers 628 to 191.

The KOSPI gained for the third session in a row after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell left the door open for rate cuts later this year to bolster the world's largest economy amid the escalating trade war between the world's top two economies.

"News of a tariff agreement reached by the U.S. and Mexico and hopes for an eased trade war between the U.S. and China positively affected the local stock market," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. He said China's export growth for May also pushed up the KOSPI.

Institutions and foreign investors bought a net 167 billion won and 183.5 billion won worth of local stocks, respectively, while individuals dumped a net 338.7 billion won.

Most large-cap shares closed higher, with tech and auto stocks leading the gain.

Hyundai Motor, the nation's top automaker, increased 2.14 percent to 143,000 won, and its sister company, Kia Motors, rose 4.5 percent to 43,000 won on news that U.S. President Donald Trump called off a plan to impose tariffs on Mexico after the two countries reached an agreement on immigration. The automakers operate plants in Mexico for shipment to the North American market.

Tech heavyweights also ended in positive terrain. Market kingpin Samsung Electronics gained 1.36 percent, closing at 44,800 won and extending its winning streak to a third day. SK hynix, the world's No. 2 memory chip maker, finished 2.14 percent higher at 66,800 won.

Chemical companies were also strong, with top player LG Chem advancing 1.97 percent to 337,000 won. Lotte Chemical moved up 0.78 percent to 258,000 won.

Pharmaceutical firms were mixed, with Celltrion gaining 1.02 percent to reach 198,500, while Samsung BioLogics was unchanged at 305,500 won.

The South Korean won closed at 1,185.2 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.8 won from Friday's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.4 basis point to 1.533 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds added 1.1 basis points to 1.577 percent.


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