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Seoul stocks end higher despite US slump

South Korean stocks rebounded on Tuesday as institutional buyers scooped up tech shares such as market kingpin Samsung Electronics and panel maker LG Display, despite overnight Wall Street losses due to a slide in tech shares, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index advanced 16.83 points, or 0.71 percent, to close at 2,347.38. Trade volume was moderate at 316 million shares worth 5.56 trillion won ($5.1 billion), with gainers far outnumbering losers 571 to 222.

Foreign and individual investors offloaded a net 7.8 billion won and 13.1 billion won worth of local stocks, respectively, while institutions were net buyers by snatching up 16.5 billion won.

On Monday (local time), US stocks dropped, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index dropping for a second straight session.

"The US market slipped, led by tech losses such as Apple. However, the fall was limited due to a rise in oil prices and rosy forecast that earnings will improve down the road," said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co. "The Korean market enjoyed a buying spree following losses in the previous session." 

Most large caps closed higher on the Seoul bourse.

Top cap Samsung Electronics ended at 2,270,000 won, up 0.04 percent from the previous session's close. Global chipmaker SK hynix also gained 2.26 percent to 58,800 won and LG Display, a major flat panel maker, jumped 7.74 percent to 37,600 won.

Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, surged 7.22 percent to 245,000 won, and Hanmi Science, holding firm of No. 1 drug company Hanmi Pharmaceutical, jumped 9.71 percent to 94,900 won.

Auto shares also closed higher with leading automaker Hyundai Motor gaining 1.23 percent to 164,500 won. Its sister company, Kia Motors, added 0.64 percent to end at 39,200 won and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis was up 0.19 percent to 263,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,128.3 won against the US dollar, down 1 won from Monday's close. 

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, moved higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 3.6 basis points to 1.661 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds slipped 5 basis points to 1.865 percent. (Yonhap)

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