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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 4th day on growing hope for stimulus

All News 16:40 March 05, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photo and bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended higher on Thursday, extending their gains to a fourth straight session amid expectations of further monetary easing by other major central banks following a U.S. rate reduction. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 25.93 points, or 1.26 percent, to 2,085.26.

Individuals bought a net 321 billion won (US$270 million) worth of stocks, offsetting foreign and institutional selling valued at 347 billion won.

This photo shows the trading room of Hana Bank in downtown Seoul on March 5, 2020. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 25.93 points, or 1.26 percent, to 2,085.26. (Yonhap)

"The broad index ended higher due to overnight gains on Wall Street," said Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 4.53 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index climbed 3.85 percent.

The U.S. stocks soared after former Vice President Joe Biden, widely seen as a business-friendly candidate, strengthened his chances of winning the Democratic presidential nomination.

Huh Jae-hwan, a strategist at Eugene Investment Co., said a rate cut in Canada and expectations of policy coordination in major countries helped boost investor sentiment.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Federal Reserve slashed interest rates by half a percentage point in an apparent move to mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

South Korea has reported more than 5,700 confirmed coronavirus cases, and the death toll has reached 35.

In Seoul, most large-cap stocks advanced.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.70 percent to 57,800 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix was up 0.64 percent to 94,900 won and top carmaker Hyundai Motor climbed 0.88 percent to 114,000 won.

Among decliners, South Korea's state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. fell 0.23 percent to 21,600 won.

The local currency closed at 1,181.20 won against the U.S. dollar, up 6.60 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-yearTreasurys rose 2.2 basis points to 1.051 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond increased 2.7 basis points to 1.143 percent.


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