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Seoul stocks down 0.45% on profit-taking

South Korean stocks ended slightly lower Friday on increased selling by foreigners and institutions.

The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 10.35 points, or 0.45 percent, to 2,286.02.


Bae Sung-young, a market analyst at KB Securities Co., said foreigners and institutions offloaded stocks in apparent profit-taking, which are to blame for losses on the main bourse.

Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities, also said foreign selling weighed on the main index.

Institutions remained net sellers of local stocks, selling more than 105 billion won ($93 million) and foreigners sold a net 303.7 billion won worth of stocks on profit-taking.

Most large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.70 percent to 2,291,000 won, and the state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. was up 0.46 percent to 43,250 won.

Meanwhile, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. fell 1.95 percent to 55,300 won, and top automaker Hyundai Motor was down 1.59 percent to 155,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,127.40 won against the US dollar, up 0.50 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.7 basis points to 1.710 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 1.8 basis points to 1.935 percent. (Yonhap)

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