(LEAD) Seoul stocks end higher on foreign buying
(ATTN: ADDS bond prices at bottom)
SEOUL, April 21 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed higher Friday as foreigners scooped up stocks on bargain hunting. The won rose against the U.S. 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 274.59 million shares worth 4.63 trillion won (US$4.1 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 424 to 356.
Foreign and institutional investors bought a combined 323.75 billion won worth of shares, offsetting individuals' net selling worth 313.32 billion won.
The index ended in positive territory for a second straight session on eased investor concerns following the United States' decision not to designate South Korea a currency manipulator.
Most of blue-chip stocks advanced, with tech, steel and defensive stocks leading the gains.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 1.19 percent to 2,038,000 won. Leading steelmaker POSCO gained 2.47 percent at 270,000 won and No. 1 cosmetics company AmorePacific jumped 3.59 percent to 317,500 won.
Among losers were utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. which closed down 0.23 percent at 44,150 won. No. 2 automaker Kia Motors edged down 0.14 percent at 34,850 won.
The local currency closed at 1,134.40 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.40 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 1.0 basis point to 1.684 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond gained 1.2 basis points at 1.853 percent.