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Seoul stocks hit new record on foreign buying

South Korean stocks ended up at a fresh record high Friday on the back of strong foreign buying amid expectations of solid corporate earnings results. The won sharply rose against the US dollar. 

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 8.22 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 2,450.06. Trade volume was moderate at 246.05 million shares worth 5.11 trillion won ($4.6 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 404 to 396. 


Foreigners bought a net 282.43 billion won worth of stocks amid expectations that major companies like Samsung Electronics Co. will release solid second-quarter earnings results from next week.

Institutions and individuals sold a combined 276 billion won on profit-taking, keeping the main index from rising further.

Financial and telecom stocks were lead gainers.

No. 1 life insurer Samsung Life Insurance jumped 2.39 percent to 128,500 won, and leading retail bank KB Financial Group advanced 4.18 percent to 59,800 won.

But market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.23 percent to 2,554,000 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.14 percent to 71,200 won.

The local currency closed at 1,118.20 won against the US dollar, up 7.30 won from the previous session's close. 

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.9 basis points to 1.721 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond declined 1.8 basis points to 1.917 percent. (Yonhap)

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