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Korean stocks end higher on institutional buying

South Korean stocks closed higher Friday as institutional investors and foreigners bought large-cap stocks ahead of a long holiday next week. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 21.33 points, or 0.90 Percent, to 2,394.47.

South Korea's stock markets will be closed from Oct. 2 through Oct. 9 as people celebrate Chuseok -- the equivalent to Thanksgiving Day in the US -- and two other national holidays.

The main index advanced for a second consecutive session during the day after a seven-session losing streak amid tensions between North Korea and the United States over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs.

Institutional investors bought more than 59.4 billion won ($51.8 million) stocks and foreigners also scooped up shares worth 30.6 billion won.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. edged up 0.04 percent to 2,564,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. shed 0.36 percent to 82,900 won.

Among gainers, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. rose 2.38 percent to 150,500 won, leading steelmaker POSCO climbed 0.48 percent to 317,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,145.40 won against the US dollar, up 3.70 won from the previous session's close. 

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, remained unchanged. The yield on three-year Treasurys stood pat at 1.888 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds was flat at 2.090 percent.(Yonhap)
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