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(LEAD) Seoul stocks rebound on bargain hunting

All News 16:24 May 13, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed higher Wednesday as investors scooped up bargains amid renewed concerns over the trade row between the United States and China. The Korean won gained against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved up 18.25 points, or 0.95 percent, to finish at 1,940.42. Trading volume was moderate at 608 million shares worth 8.79 trillion won (US$7.18 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 426 to 403.

The local stock market got off toward a weak start as Republican members of the U.S. Senate vowed to take steps to sanction China on grounds that Beijing has caused the global COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. President Donald Trump also ruled out possibilities that Washington and Beijing will renegotiate their phase-one trade deal, adversely impacting investors' sentiment.

A dealer work in front of an electronic signboard at the headquarters of Hana Bank in Seoul on May 13, 2020. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved up 18.25 points, or 0.95 percent, to finish at 1,940.42. (Yonhap)

"The rising concerns over the growing trade row between the U.S. and China was a negative factor for the South Korean stock market," Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.

Local shares, however, rebounded later in the session as investors, led by retail investors, scooped up bargains.

Foreigners dumped a net 318 billion won, but individuals scooped up a net 215 billion won. Institutions bought more shares than they sold at 90 billion won.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics moved up 1.36 percent to 48,550 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix lost 2.45 percent to 83,600 won.

Top chemical firm LG Chem advanced 4.14 percent to 352,000 won, and leading cosmetics producer AmorePacific added 1.74 percent.

Mobile carriers closed mixed, with No. 1 SK Telecom falling 1.67 percent to 206,500 won while KT advanced 0.63 percent to 23,800 won. LG Uplus, the smallest player, added 2.53 percent to 14,200 won.

Leading pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics jumped 4.05 percent to 616,000 won and Celltrion moved up 1.9 percent to 215,000 won.

The South Korean won closed at 1,223.80 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.00 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 3 basis points to 0.856 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 3.1 basis points to 1.111 percent.


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