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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 4th straight day amid hopes for Sino-U.S. trade deal

All News 16:42 January 14, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photo and bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) – The South Korean stock market closed higher on Tuesday to extend its winning streak to a fourth day amid hopes for improvement in trade relations between the United States and China and an imminent signing of their trade deal. The South Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 9.62 points, or 0.43 percent, to close at 2,238.88. Trade volume was heavy at 823 million shares worth 7.1 trillion won (US$6.1 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 426 to 390.

An electronic signboard at KEB Hana Bank in Seoul shows the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) up 0.43 percent to close at 2,238.88 points on Jan. 14, 2020. (Yonhap)

Foreign investors maintained their net buying position for the eighth straight session to scoop up a net 262.9 billion won. Individuals bought a net 132.4 billion won, while institutions offloaded a net 426.2 billion won.

In an indication of improved relations, Washington said Beijing will no longer be designated as a currency manipulator, ahead of their signing of a preliminary trade agreement to ease tariffs later this week.

"The U.S. Treasury Department's decision to eliminate the designation of China as a currency manipulator brought positive effect to foreign buying," Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said.

In Seoul, most large-cap shares on the Seoul bourse ended mixed.

Chipmakers took a breather after a week-long rally as investors cashed in part of their recent gains.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics was unchanged at 60,000 won, after opening higher, to snap its five-day winning streak. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix was also unchanged to end at 100,500 won.

Bio shares were in negative terrain, with pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics decreasing 1.25 percent to end at 435,000 won. Another bio firm, Celltrion, lost 0.84 percent to 178,000 won.

In contrast, Samsung SDI, the battery unit of South Korea's top conglomerate, jumped 2.51 percent to finish at a 52-week high of 265,500 won on upbeat market forecast for its electric vehicle battery business.

Auto shares also ended bullish. Leading automaker Hyundai Motor moved up 0.87 percent to 116,000 won and its smaller sister company, Kia Motor, was 1.73 percent higher at 41,150 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis added 0.83 percent to 244,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,156.1 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.1 from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys dropped 3.2 basis points to stand at 1.386 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 3.7 basis points to reach 1.513 percent.

khj@yna.co.kr
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