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Seoul stocks up for 2nd day on earnings hope

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks closed higher for a second day in a row on Wednesday amid hopes of strong corporate earnings. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) advanced 22.38 points, or 0.81 percent, to close at 2,768.85 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 530 million shares worth some 10.2 trillion won ($8.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 757 to 125.

Institutions bought a net 197 billion won and foreigners purchased 239 billion won, while retail investors offloaded 459 billion won.

After a strong start, the KOSPI advanced on investors' optimism about corporate earnings in the fourth quarter.

Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite added 1.28 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.06 percent.

Stabilizing oil prices also added to the investor sentiment.

"Oil prices stabilized after the recent surge, raising economy-sensitive stocks, such as steel and transport," Eugene Investment & Securities analyst Huh Jae-hwan said.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.63 percent to 74,700 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.8 percent to 126,000 won.

Internet portal operator Naver moved up 1.24 percent to 326,000 won, while pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics shed 3.38 percent to 773,000 won.

Top car battery maker LG Energy Solution plunged 5.72 percent to 511,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,196.5 won against the US dollar, up 1.2 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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