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(LEAD) Seoul stocks end higher on tech, financial gains

2018/07/13 16:37

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(ATTN: ADDS graphic image, bond yields at bottom; CORRECTS info in 3rd para)

SEOUL, July 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed higher Friday, as investors scooped up large-cap tech and financial shares amid eased fears over the trade war between the United States and China, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 25.84 points, or 1.13 percent, to close at 2,310.9. Trade volume was moderate at 287 million shares worth 6.4 trillion won (US$5.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 573 to 256.

The local stock market opened higher, taking a cue from overnight rallies on Wall Street, and extended the gains late in the afternoon on foreign buying.

"Global stocks rallied with the focus shifting from the trade dispute to earnings," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. "Companies with upbeat earnings forecasts, among others, led the gains."

   U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday Washington is open to talks with Beijing over the trade issue.

Foreigners bought a net 224 billion won worth of local stocks, while individuals and institutions dumped a net 137 billion won and 94 billion won worth of shares, respectively.

Market heavyweight tech companies saw bullish trade, with top cap Samsung Electronics advancing 2.2 percent to close at 46,500 won. SK hynix, a major chipmaker, jumped 3.74 percent to 88,800 won.

KB Financial Group spiked 4.54 percent to 55,300 won, and Shinhan Financial Group was up 2.61 percent to 45,200 won.

Steel and construction shares also closed in positive terrain.

Top steelmaker POSCO advanced 1.77 percent to 316,500 won, and its smaller rival Hyundai Steel added 1.87 percent to 48,950 won.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction rose 2.63 percent to end at 54,700 won, and GS Engineering & Construction was also up 4.79 percent to 47,000 won.

Samsung Biologics, meanwhile, plunged 6.29 percent to 402,000 won, after the financial regulator announced the previous day that a 2015 accounting breach by the biopharmaceutical firm was intentional. The Samsung affiliate has strongly denied the allegations.

No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 0.41 percent to 122,500 won, and Naver, the country's largest portal operator, was down 1.41 percent to end at 771,000 won.

The South Korean currency closed at 1,123.50 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.4 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 1.5 basis points to 2.105 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds increased 1 basis point to 2.341 percent.

scaaet@yna.co.kr

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