SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- Seoul shares closed higher for the third consecutive day Friday on continued foreign buying. The South Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) advanced 17.69 points, or 0.72 percent, to close at 2,490.80. The figure is up 1.6 percent from a week ago.
Trading volume was moderate at 400.63 million shares worth 7.4 trillion won (US$5.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 595 to 241.
Foreigners and institutions bought a combined net 418.5 billion won worth of stocks, while retail investors sold a net 416.1 billion won worth of shares.
Foreigners have been net buyers for seven consecutive trading sessions.
Overnight, U.S. stocks closed mostly unchanged ahead of July's jobs report, set to be released Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined around 0.3 percent, the S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.4 percent.
"There is a hope in the market that falling oil prices could indicate inflation might soon peak," Meritz Securities analyst Lee Jong-bin said. "The market is closely watching data from the U.S. job market."
In Seoul, stocks closed mixed, with health stocks advancing as the U.S. government declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency.
Samsung Biologics, the biotech arm of South Korea's Samsung Group, gained 2.29 percent to 895,000 won, and pharmaceutical giant Celltrion spiked 4.23 percent to 197,000 won.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics remained flat at 61,500 won, and SK hynix gained 1.03 percent to close at 98,500 won. Leading chemicals maker LG Chem went up 5.42 percent to 642,000 won.
Internet giant Naver fell 2.38 percent to 267,000 won, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.02 percent to 194,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,298.30 won against the U.S. dollar, up 11.8 won from the previous session's close.
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