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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 2nd day on rebounding oil prices

All News 16:51 April 23, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photo and bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, April 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended higher for the second straight session Thursday on improved investor sentiment over rebounding oil prices. The Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 18.58 points, or 0.98 percent, to 1,914.73.

Institutions bought a net 99.5 billion won (US$81 million) worth of stocks, offsetting combined net sell-offs valued at 121.3 billion won by foreigners and individuals.

An electronic signboard at KEB Hana Bank in central Seoul shows the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) up 0.98 percent to close at 1,914.73 points on April 23, 2020. (Yonhap)

Foreigners continued to offload local stocks for the fourth consecutive session Thursday, but their selling has weakened

"The decreased foreign selling and rebounding oil prices, as well as overnight gains on Wall Street, helped push up the main index," said Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co.

Investors will remain cautious, however, assessing the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the global economy and corporate profitability, analysts said.

South Korea's economy contracted 1.4 percent in the first quarter from a quarter earlier, the worst since 2008, according to the central bank.

In coming weeks, investors will take a cue from major companies' first-quarter business results.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. remained unchanged at 49,850 won, major pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics was up 3.62 percent to 601,000 won, and leading chemical firm LG Chem rose 1.69 percent to 361,000 won.

Among decliners, South Korea's second-largest chipmaker SK hynix Inc. fell 1.55 percent to 82,600 won, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. shed 0.22 percent to 92,400 won.

The local currency closed at 1,229.70 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.5 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1 basis point to 1.036 percent, but the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 2.2 basis points to 1.291 percent.


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