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Seoul stocks hit new record on solid earnings hopes

South Korean stocks ended up at a fresh record high Wednesday backed by institutional buying amid hopes for sound corporate earnings. The won rose against the US dollar. 

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 3.90 points, or 0.16 percent, to close at a record high of 2,429.94. Trade volume was moderate at 266.82 million shares worth 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering decliners 521 to 289.

Institutional investors bought a net 140 billion won worth of stocks amid expectations that major companies like Samsung Electronics Co. will release solid second-quarter earnings results.


Most large-cap stocks advanced across the board.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 0.34 percent to 148,500 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.28 percent to 71,000 won and leading cosmetics firm AmorePacific was up 2.53 percent to 303,500 won.

But market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.20 percent to 2,537,000 won, keeping the main index from rising further.

The local currency closed at 1,120.60 won against the US dollar, up 2.50 won from the previous session's close. 

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.1 basis point to 1.747 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond gained 0.2 basis point to 1.945 percent. (Yonhap)
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