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Seoul stocks advance to record high amid receding uncertainties

June 9, 2017 - 16:44 By a2016032

South Korean stocks closed at a record high Friday as investors' sentiment was boosted by receding global uncertainties, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index advanced 18.12 points, or 0.77 percent, to 2,381.69. Trade volume was high at 511 million shares worth 7.1 trillion won ($6.32 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 464 to 340.

It marked the first time that the Kospi closed at 2,380 levels.

The Kospi even hit 2,385.15 at one point during the trading session, an all-time record for the bourse.

Analysts said the growth came as investors became less concerned about global risks amid the outlook that the result of the latest hearing of former US FBI director James Comey met the market's earlier expectations.

"Concerns over the political uncertainties in the US, Britain's general election and the policy meeting of the European Central Bank have been eased, causing investors to seek riskier assets," said Kim Byung-yeon, a researcher at NH Investment & Securities Co.

Foreigners bought a net 146 billion won, while institutions sold a net 30.6 billion won. Retail investors offloaded 167 billion won worth of stock more than they bought.

Tech shares were major winners, with Samsung Electronics moving up 2.08 percent to 2,305,000 won and SK hynix increasing 2.82 percent to 58,300 won. LG Electronics rose 1.73 percent to 88,300 won.

Steelmakers also closed higher, with No. 1 Posco increasing 1.85 percent to 275,000 won and Hyundai Steel climbing 2.38 percent to 60,300 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor and its autoparts arm Hyundai Mobis closed unchanged at 160,000 won and 264,500 won, respectively. Kia Motors decreased 0.38 percent to 39,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,123.20 won against the greenback, down 1.1 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.5 basis point to 1.632 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds added 0.1 basis point to 1.850 percent. (Yonhap)