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Seoul stocks hit record high on expectations of strong Q2 earnings

July 18, 2017 - 16:28 By Catherine Chung
South Korean stocks turned higher to reach a fresh record high Tuesday backed by institutional buying. The won rose against the US dollar. 

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 0.94 point, or 0.04 percent, to close at a record high of 2,426.04.

Trade volume was moderate at 255.64 million shares worth 4.6 trillion won ($4 billion), with losers outnumbering winners 414 to 387. 

Institutional investors bought a net 122.04 billion won worth of stocks amid expectations that major companies like Samsung Electronics Co. will come up with solid second-quarter earnings results starting next week.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.39 percent to 2,542,000 won, allowing the main index to end in positive territory.

Defensive stocks, such as utilities and cosmetics firms, also supported the KOSPI index. The Korea Electric Power Corp. climbed 0.59 percent to 42,650 won, and leading cosmetics firm AmorePacific Corp. was up 1.54 percent at 296,000 won. 

Among losers, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. fell 1.66 percent to 148,000 won, and No. 1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co. declined 0.20 percent to 249,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,128.30 won against the US dollar, up 5.00 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 0.8 basis point to 1.746 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 1.9 basis points to 1.943 percent. (Yonhap)