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(LEAD) Seoul shares close higher amid U.S. election vote count

All News 16:33 November 04, 2020

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

SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares closed higher Wednesday as investors kept a watchful eye on the ongoing vote count of the U.S. presidential election. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 14.01 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 2,357.32.

Trading volume was high at about 972.9 million shares worth some 14.7 trillion won (US$12.9 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 441 to 377.

Foreigners offloaded a net 218.3 billion won of local stocks, and retail investors sold a net 167.2 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 344.1 billion won.

Electronic signboards at the trading room of Hana Bank in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,357.32 on Nov. 4, 2020, up 14.01 points or 0.6 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

As vote counting for the U.S. election progressed, the local market swung between negative and positive terrain early in the session before gathering ground.

Some analysts have said stock markets favor a win by Democratic nominee Joe Biden, as it could give weight to the Democratic Party's push for a large stimulus deal, which has stalled amid differences with the White House.

Others noted that investors expect a stimulus deal to go through regardless of the election result.

"Whether the Democrats win or the Republicans win, the market nevertheless anticipates additional U.S. stimulus after the presidential election," KB Bank economist Moon Jung-hui said. "If the Republicans win, the stimulus is expected to be relatively smaller but would be available by the end of this year."

In Seoul, most large caps closed higher.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics spiked 4.86 percent to 733,000 won, and Celltrion moved up 4.44 percent to 270,500 won.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 0.51 percent to 58,500 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rose 2.21 percent to 83,200 won.

Internet portal giant Naver jumped 5.48 percent to 298,500 won, and its rival Kakao soared 6.84 percent to 359,500 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, moved up 0.59 percent to 171,500 won.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem fell 0.91 percent to 650,000 won, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI was flat at 459,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,137.7 won per U.S. dollar, down 3.6 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 2.5 basis points to 0.955 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond declined 3.0 basis points to 1.266 percent.

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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