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Seoul stocks hit new record on solid earnings hopes

South Korean stocks ended up at a fresh record high Thursday amid expectations of solid corporate earnings results. The won fell against the US dollar. 

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 11.90 points, or 0.49 percent, to close at 2,441.84. Trade volume was moderate at 246.84 million shares worth 5.27 trillion won ($4.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering decliners 431 to 354. 


Institutions and foreigners bought a combined 102.45 billion won worth of stocks amid expectations that major companies like Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc. will release solid second-quarter earnings results.

Most large-cap stocks advanced across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.91 percent to finish at a record high of 2,560,000 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix climbed 0.42 percent to 71,300 won.

Among gainers were leading steelmaker POSCO, which jumped 2.99 percent to 327,000 won. No. 1 refiner SK Innovation Co. climbed 2.69 percent to 172,000 won.

But carmakers declined amid concerns about their second-quarter results. Industry leader Hyundai Motor and its sister company Kia Motors have suffered sharp declines in major markets, such as China, in the first half due to diplomatic rows.

Hyundai Motor fell 0.34 percent to 148,000 won, Kia Motors shed 1.62 percent to 36,450 won, and leading auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co. dropped 0.61 percent to 246,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,125.50 won against the US dollar, down 4.90 won from the previous session's close. 

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 0.7 basis point to 1.740 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond declined 1.0 basis point to 1.935 percent. (Yonhap)
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