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Seoul shares end higher on chip advance

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

South Korean shares closed higher on Thursday as institutional investors picked up large-cap chipmakers. The Korean won weakened against the US dollar.

After a choppy session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) went up 9.52 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,728.21 points.

Around 988 million shares worth some 9.87 trillion won ($8 billion) changed hands, with gainers slightly outnumbering losers 443 to 400.

Institutions scooped up a net 637.2 billion won worth of stocks, while foreigners and individuals offloaded a net 59.5 billion won and 567.2 billion won, respectively.

Overnight, the US stock markets ended mixed due to Netflix's slump.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.71 percent due to IBM's rise, while the S&P500 fell 0.06 percent and the Nasdaq was down 1.22 percent.

"Investors' appetite for risky assets improved as US futures strengthened," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.

Most large-cap stocks traded higher across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics went up 0.45 percent to 67,700 won, major battery maker LG Energy Solution climbed 0.11 percent to 437,000 won. Major chipmaker SK hynix added 0.44 percent to 113,000 won.

In contrast, IT giant Naver went down 1.9 percent to 309,500 won due to its disappointing first-quarter earnings report.

The local currency closed at 1,239 on against the US dollar, down 2.9 won from the previous session. (Yonhap)

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