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Seoul stocks fall on institutional sell-off

South Korean stocks fell Friday, hit by a sell-off by institutional investors. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index declined 3.3 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 2,358.37. Trade volume was moderate at 195 million shares worth 4.05 trillion won ($3.54 billion).

The local stock market opened lower, tracking a loss on Wall Street overnight following a deadly attack in Spain and political uncertainties in the United States. 

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

"The decline in the US stock markets came after investors opted to cash in part of recent gains," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities said.

Top cap Samsung Electronics fell 0.3 percent to end at 2,345,000 won, and SK hynix, a global chipmaker, edged up 0.9 percent to 67,000 won.

Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, gained 0.9 percent to 784,000 won.

No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor rose 0.35 percent to 144,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors gained 0.28 percent to 35,350 won.

The local currency closed at 1,141.30 won against the US dollar, down 4.1 won from the previous session's close. 

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 2.4 basis points to 1.777 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 1.2 basis points to 1.999 percent. (Yonhap)
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