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Seoul stocks bask in week-long gain to hit nearly 2-year high on stimulus hope

All News 15:56 August 07, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares extended gains to a fifth session on Friday, as expectations for a U.S. stimulus package underpinned investor sentiment. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 9.06 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 2,351.67. The reading marks the highest since Sept. 27, 2018.

Trading volume was high at about 802 million shares worth some 17.3 trillion won (US$14.6 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 382 to 462.

Foreigners sold a net 78 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 856 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 798 billion won.

The index advanced every session of the week on high hopes for a U.S. stimulus package.

The week-long rally raised valuation pressure and inclination for profit-taking, analysts said.

"(Investors in) local stock markets are entering a wait-and-see mode, keeping a close eye on events related to U.S. stimulus package and China's trade data," Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.

Electric vehicle battery makers and automakers continued to build up gains.

LG Chem, the country's largest electric vehicle battery maker, spiked 9.71 percent to 746,000 won, a new record.

Among other electric vehicle battery gainers, Samsung SDI jumped 3.94 percent to 488,000 won, and SK Innovation skyrocketed 12.94 percent to 184,000 won.

Other large caps in Seoul generally closed lower.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.86 percent to 57,500 won, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix retreating 0.62 percent to 80,600 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 1.73 percent to 147,000 won, but leading pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 1.29 percent to 768,000 won.

Internet giant Naver shed 2.48 percent to 314,000 won, with its rival Kakao dipping 3.02 percent to 353,000 won.

The local currency was trading at 1,184 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.20 won from the previous session's close.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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