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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 2nd day on strong U.S. job data, foreign buying

Finance 16:52 December 09, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with foreign buying in 6th para; bond yields at bottom; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares ended higher for second straight session on Monday as investors cheered strong U.S. jobs data and hopes of a trade deal between the U.S. and China. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 6.80 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,088.65.

The U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs and its unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent in November, pushing U.S. stocks higher.

NH Securities analyst Noh Dong-kil said healthy job data in the U.S. and expectations of a trade deal between the U.S. and China drove South Korea's main index.

"The main index got a boost from the encouraging U.S. jobs report and positive U.S. reaction toward China's possible exemption of tariffs on U.S. soybeans and pork," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co.

Foreigners bought a net 72.5 billion won (US$61 million) worth of stocks, while institutions and individuals sold a combined 109 billion won.

Foreign investors snatched up local stocks for a second day after selling them for 21 days in a row.

In Seoul, large-cap stocks were mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.59 percent to 51,200 won (US$43), and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix edged up 0.12 percent to 80,700 won.

Among decliners, the state-run firm KEPCO fell 0.87 percent to 28,600 won, and Kia Motors shed 1.03 percent to 43,350 won.

The Korean won closed at 1,189.90 won per dollar, down 0.30 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.8 basis points to 1.412 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond declined 2.3 basis points to 1.488 percent.

This photo taken on Dec. 9, 2019 shows KEB Hana Bank's dealing room in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

entropy@yna.co.kr
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