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Seoul stocks up for 2nd day on tech gains after choppy trading

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,237.14 on Tuesday, up 14.1 points or 0.44 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,237.14 on Tuesday, up 14.1 points or 0.44 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks rose for a second straight session Tuesday after choppy trading, backed by strong advances by large tech companies. The Korean won increased against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) added 14.1 points, or 0.44 percent, to close at 3,237.14 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 643 million shares worth some 12.3 trillion won ($10.7 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 581 to 270.

Foreigners bought a net 663 billion won, while retail investors sold 669 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 35 billion won.

Local stocks got off to a solid start as tech heavyweights jumped on expectations for robust global demand.

But the stock index moved in and out of positive terrain throughout the session amid concerns about spiking COVID-19 cases and Chinese regulation uncertainties.

"Chipmakers like Samsung Electronics and SK hynix performed strong today, but other sectors' underperformance seems to have made the trading choppy," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.

In Seoul, market kingpin Samsung Electronics advanced 2.65 percent to 81,400 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix jumped 3.45 percent to 120,000 won.

Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 0.44 percent to 909,000 won, but battery maker Samsung SDI edged up 0.27 percent to 749,000 won. Internet portal operator Naver declined 2.42 percent.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor decreased 0.68 percent, with leading chemical firm LG Chem trading flat.

The country's largest game publisher NCSOFT retreated 1.7 percent to 810,000 won, with Netmarble shedding 1.82 percent to 134,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,148.3 won against the US dollar, up 2.6 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 0.7 basis point to 1.442 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 1 basis point to 1.663 percent. (Yonhap)
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