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Seoul shares extend gains on foreign buying

South Korean stocks extended gains late Friday morning as foreign investors scooped up large-cap stocks.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 22.02 points, or 0.94 percent, to 2,366.63 as of 11:20 a.m.

On Friday, foreigners turned net buyers of domestic stocks worth 239 billion won ($213 million) after shedding local shares in the past three sessions.

Their net buying appears to be affected by two factors, analysts said.

A rally in US stocks and expectations of an economic recovery in South Korea are giving a boost to the main index, they said.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.65 percent to a record high of 21,144 on solid job data. South Korea's economy grew 1.1 percent in the first quarter, the highest level in six quarters after a 1.3 percent growth in the third quarter of 2015, according to the Bank of Korea.

Large-cap stocks led gains, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics advancing 2.64 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gaining 0.89 percent and cosmetics giant AmorePacific up 0.44 percent.

Among decliners, top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.91 percent, leading steelmaker POSCO shed 0.36 percent, and No. 1 refiner SK Innovation declined 0.30 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,119.80 won against the US dollar, up 2.20 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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