Seoul stocks rise for 3rd day on foreign buying

South Korean stocks rose for a third straight session on Friday, as foreign investors snapped up local stocks on eased uncertainty about the US monetary policy. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) increased 11.32 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 3,017.73 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 438 million shares worth some 11.2 trillion won ($9.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 510 to 344.

Foreigners bought a net 511 billion won while institutions sold a net 4 billion won and retail investors offloaded 524 billion won.

Stocks came off to a weak start, tracking an overnight stock plunge on Wall Street.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.08 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite shed 2.47 percent as hawkish stances by major central banks hurt investor sentiment.

After choppy trading, the KOSPI gained ground in the afternoon, supported by foreign buying.

“Investor sentiment was sapped by monetary tightening moves by major central banks. But gains in financial and telecommunication shares buttressed the Korean stock market,” Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities. Co., said.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.26 percent to 78,000 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix decreased 1.61 percent to 122,000 won.

Internet portal operator Naver retreated 0.77 percent to 384,500 won, leading chemical firm LG Chem fell 1.13 percent to 697,000 won, and pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics shed 0.31 percent to 955,000 won.

Top bank cap Kakao Bank advanced 1.27 percent to 63,900 won, and financial heavyweight KB Financial Group increased 3.18 percent to 58,400 won. Steelmaker POSCO grew 3 percent to 292,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,180.9 won against the US dollar, up 3 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 0.1 basis point to 1.767 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 0.2 basis point to 1.940 percent. (Yonhap)

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