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Seoul stocks up for 3rd session on strong Samsung performance, foreign buying


South Korean stocks closed higher Wednesday for a third consecutive session as top cap Samsung continued to build up gains aided by foreign buying. The Korean won strengthened against the US greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 6.27 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 2,263.16. Trading volume was high at about 885 million shares worth some 15.3 trillion won ($12.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 427 to 396.

Foreigners purchased a net 292 billion won, extending their buying streak to a fourth session. Retail investors purchased a net 51 billion won, while institutions sold off a net 338 billion won.

"As the weak dollar continues, global investors seem to have turned their eyes to non-dollar based assets, including (South Korean) stocks," said Seo Jung-hoon, an analyst at Samsung Securities.

Most large caps traded higher.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics added 0.68 percent to 59,000 won, extending its winning streak to a fourth day, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix edging up 0.12 percent to 83,200 won.

Internet giant Naver advanced 1.39 percent to 292,000 won, with its rival Kakao up 0.61 percent to 331,500 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 1.63 percent to 125,000 won, while leading chemical firm LG Chem slipped 0.19 percent to 527,000 won.

Among decliners, pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics lost 2.63 percent to 741,000 won, with Celltrion tumbling 5.04 percent to 301,500 won.

The local currency was trading at 1,193.10 won against the US dollar, up 3.8 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.2 basis point to 0.811 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond slipped 1.1 basis points to 1.063 percent. (Yonhap)