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Seoul stocks up for 7th day on US stimulus hopes

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
South Korean stocks extended their winning streak to seven straight sessions Thursday, thanks to the massive foreign buying that stemmed from US stimulus hopes. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 5.02 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 2,391.96.

Trading volume was moderate at about 939 million shares worth some 12.2 trillion won ($10.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 510 to 300.

Foreigners bought a net 756 billion won, the largest daily purchase after July 28.

Retail investors sold a net 165 billion won, and institutions offloaded a net 615 billion won.

Foreign buying increased, taking a cue from the optimistic signals by US House speaker Nancy Pelosi over an airline-relief bill in talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, analysts said.

"The US stimulus for the airline and some other industries led the overnight Wall Street rallies and gave local stocks an uptick push," Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.

Investors' appetite for risk also hiked on the back of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes, as some of the committee members implied openness to increasing the asset-buying program to support the pandemic-hit economy.

In Seoul, most large caps closed lower.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.33 percent to 59,700 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 0.6 percent to 82,900 won.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics retreated 0.83 percent to 715,000 won, but Celltrion added 0.58 percent to 262,000 won.

Internet portal giant Naver shed 1.31 percent to 301,000 won, with its rival Kakao slipping 0.39 percent to 379,000 won.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem gained 1.76 percent to 692,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI rose 1.25 percent to 445,000 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, retreated 1.37 percent to 180,500 won, while top steelmaker Posco advanced 1.46 percent to 208,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,153.3 won per dollar, up 4.9 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.3 basis point to 0.907 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 0.7 basis point to 1.207 percent. (Yonhap)
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