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Seoul shares gain on institutional buying

[THE INVESTOR] South Korean stocks ended with gains on Sept. 23, continuing a six-day winning streak, on the back of the US Federal Reserve‘s decision keep its key rate unchanged. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark KOSPI added 4.37 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,054.07. Trade volume came to 488.2 million shares worth 4.42 trillion won (US$4.07 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 491 to 312.

Institutions net-purchased 160.2 billion won worth of shares, while foreigners and individuals investors sold a net 78 billion and 291.9 billion won worth of stocks, respectively.

“Uncertainties about the US rate hike have passed. More investors are also going to prefer risky assets,” said Kim Jin-young, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

Large caps closed mixed, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics shedding 2.9 percent to 1,571,000 won after gains in six previous sessions in a row.

Naver, the top internet portal operator, was up 0.57 percent to hit an 18-month record of 878,0000 won.

Analysts attributed the increase to positive outlook after Line Corp., a Japan-based global chat app operator under its arm, was listed in both Tokyo and New York earlier this year.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 2.9 percent to 142,000 won and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors also added 0.82 percent to 44,800 won. The state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. added 1.52 percent to 60.000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,102.40 won against the US dollar, up 0.90 won from the previous session.