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Seoul stocks up 1% on tech gains

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

South Korean stocks closed 1.05 percent higher Friday as large-cap tech shares rallied. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) went up 22.28 points to close at 2,134.65. Trading volume was moderate at 728 million shares worth 9.4 trillion won ($7.8 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 432 to 395.

Foreigners and individuals scooped up a net 61.5 billion won and 106.2 billion won, respectively, while institutions offloaded a net 163.7 billion won.

The index opened sharply higher, tracking overnight Wall Street gains after banking regulators unveiled that they will make business easier for large lenders despite worries over a surge in new COVID-19 cases.

The United States set a new record for a one-day increase in coronavirus cases, with Texas deciding to pause its reopening.

The KOSPI then continued to build up gains on the back of a rise in major technology shares.

"An appetite for risky assets increased after the US banking regulations eased, a positive factor for the market," Samsung Securities researcher Seo Jung-hun said.

In Seoul, most large-cap shares closed higher.

Tech shares were bullish, with top market cap Samsung Electronics jumping 2.7 percent to 53,300 won and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix adding 0.36 percent to 84,600 won.

Mobile carriers also closed in positive terrain, with No. 1 player SK Telecom moving up 2.1 percent to 292,000 won and the second-largest KT adding 1.72 percent to 23,700 won. LG Uplus, the smallest in the country, jumped 3.78 percent to 12,350 won.

Bio stocks, meanwhile, ended in negative terrain, with Samsung BioLogics, the biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, going down 0.61 percent to 810,000. Celltrion declined 1.11 percent to 312,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,200.6 won against the US dollar, up 4.1 won from the previous session's close. 

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.6 basis point to 0.811 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 1.2 basis points to 1.071 percent. (Yonhap)
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