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Seoul stocks hit 6-year high on foreign buying

According to Yonhap News,

(SEOUL=Yonhap News) South Korean stocks rallied by more than 1 percent to end at a six-year high on Tuesday, as investors' concerns over a French presidential election race abated and foreign investors snatched up local stocks for earnings hopes, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) soared 23.11 points, or 1.06 percent, to close at 2,196.85, marking the highest since April 22, 2011, when the comparable figure was 2,197.82 points.

Trade volume was moderate at 272 million shares worth 4.77 trillion won (US$4.24 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 534 to 255.

The local stock market opened as U.S. stocks resumed upward movement on Monday, and foreign investors scooped up market heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor.

"Foreign investors have extended their buying, with market heavyweights benefiting from such a massive purchases," said Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

Foreign investors bought South Korean stocks for a third straight session. Foreign buying between Thursday and Monday came to nearly 700 billion won, according to data from Korea Exchange, the local bourse operator.

On Tuesday alone they scooped up some 648 billion won worth of local stocks.

Foreigners' buying spree of local stocks came despite heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs.

The analyst said upbeat corporate earnings will also help the local stock market move up going forward.

Samsung Electronics, the country's top market cap, jumped 3.54 percent to end at 2,135,000 won on the back of a rosy outlook for the sales of its latest high-end smartphone, the Galaxy S8.

SK hynix, a major chipmaker, remained flat at 52,400 won paring earlier gains, as investors locked in gains.

POSCO, the top steelmaker, fell 0.73 percent to end at 272,000 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country's top automaker, soared 2.12 percent at 144,500 won.

AmorePacific, South Korea's top cosmetics makers, slumped 4.4 percent to end at 293,500 won after reporting weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings.

The local currency closed at 1,125.40 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.5 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 2.4 basis points to 1.677 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 1.8 basis points at 1.864 percent.

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Source: Yonhap News (Apr. 26, 2017)

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