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(LEAD) Seoul stocks rebound on bargain hunting

All Headlines 16:30 June 18, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, June 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed higher ending a four-day run of declines Tuesday as investors bought undervalued shares, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 7.98 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 2,098.71. Trading volume was moderate at 584 million shares worth 4.27 trillion won (US$3.6 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 479 to 349.

Seoul shares gained ground as investors hunted bargains while taking a wait-and-see stance over the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting slated for this week, analysts said.

"Chinese President Xi Jinping's anticipated state visit to North Korea also lent a hand to the market as the event may lead to the resumption of nuclear talks," said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co.

Xi is scheduled to pay a two-day visit to North Korea starting Thursday at the invitation of its leader, Kim Jong-un, the North's state media reported on Monday.

Foreigners bought a net 40 billion won, while retail investors offloaded a net 129 billion won. Institutions bought more shares than they sold at 86 billion won.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics moved up 1.03 percent to 44,350 won, and LG Electronics advanced 0.74 percent to 81,300 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix, on the other hand, lost 0.47 percent, closing at 63,400 won.

Pharmaceutical shares were bullish, with Celltrion rising 1.46 percent to 208,000 won and Samsung BioLogics climbing 1.62 percent to 314,000 won.

Carmakers were also among gainers, with top player Hyundai Motor increasing 0.71 percent to 141,000 won and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors rising 1.53 percent to 43,000 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis edged up 1.36 percent to 223,500 won.

In contrast, construction shares lost ground, with Hyundai Engineering & Construction down 0.55 percent at 54,100 won and Daelim Industrial falling 0.42 percent to 118,000 won.

Steelmakers were mixed, with No. 1 POSCO rising 1.91 percent to 239,500 won and Korea Zinc shedding 0.64 percent to close at 467,000 won. Hyundai Steel added 0.36 percent to finish at 41,750 won.

The local currency closed at 1,185.80 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.70 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year debts added 0.2 basis point to 1.493 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds remained unchanged at 1.526 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks rebound on bargain hunting - 1


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