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Seoul stocks extend gains late Friday morning

All News 11:26 December 06, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks extended gains late Friday morning as foreigners turned net buyers amid hopes for a U.S.-China trade deal.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 17.51 points, or 0.85 percent, to 2,078.25 as of 11:20 a.m.

Investors are waiting for news on U.S. jobs data and a phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China before the Dec. 15 deadline, when Washington is scheduled to slap new tariffs on Chinese products, analysts said.

"U.S. President Donald Trump's positive comments and news that the two sides are nearing a deal helped revive investor appetite for risky assets," NH Securities Co. analyst Noh Dong-kil said.

Trump said Wednesday (local time) that discussions with China are going very well.

"Investors are also eyeing the U.S. jobs report due to be released tonight (Korean time) as it will provide a gauge on the outlook for spending (which is crucial for economic expansion)," he said.

Foreigners, who continued to dump local stocks in the past 21 sessions, turned to net buyers by purchasing 53 billion won (US$45 million) worth of local stocks. Institutions bought 68 billion won worth of stocks but individuals sold 121 billion won.

Most large-cap stocks advanced across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 2.2 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix climbed 1.5 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.4 percent and leading steelmaker POSCO was up 0.7 percent.

Among decliners, state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. fell 0.4 percent, dominant tobacco company KT&G declined 0.1 percent and construction firm Samsung C&T shed 1 percent.

The Korean won was trading at 1,188.30 won per dollar, up 1.90 won from the previous session's close.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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