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Seoul stocks end higher on institutional buying

April 20, 2017 - 16:29 By Korea Herald

South Korean stocks closed higher Thursday as institutions scooped up stocks on bargain hunting. The won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 10.75 points, or 0.50 percent, to close at 2,149.15. Trade volume was moderate at 262.01 million shares worth 4.91 trillion won ($4.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 445 to 329.

Institutional and foreign investors bought a combined 296 billion won worth of shares, offsetting 274.81 billion won in net sell-offs by individuals.

The index ended in positive territory after losing in the previous session, despite eased investor worries following the United States' decision not to designate South Korea a currency manipulator.

Auto, chip and steel stocks led market gains, with top carmaker Hyundai Motor jumping 3.28 percent to 141,500 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 3.11 percent to 51,400 won and leading steelmaker Posco was up 0.76 percent to 263,500 won.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.52 percent to 2,014,000 won. Refiner and defensive stocks also declined, with leading refiner SK Innovation declining 1.22 percent to 161,500 won. But No. 1 cosmetics company AmorePacific rose 3.55 percent to 306,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,139.80 won against the US dollar, up 0.40 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.4 basis point to 1.674 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond gained 0.8 basis point at 1.841 percent. (Yonhap)