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Seoul shares end higher on institutional buying

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks closed higher Monday, as institutions and foreigners went on a buying mode, with automakers and car parts suppliers leading the gains. The Korean won declined against the US dollar.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 10.55 points, or 0.44 percent, to close at 2,403.69.

Trading volume was moderate at 316.23 million shares worth 5.77 trillion won ($4.39 billion), with gainers outstripping losers 427 to 400.

Institutions and foreign investors bought a net 193.28 billion won and 92.9 billion won worth of shares, respectively, while retail investors sold a net 283.5 billion won.

"Concerns over the chip industry's outlook have recently eased with a modest rise in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index," said Kwak Byung-yeol, an analyst with Leading Investment & Securities Co. "But stock volatility remains high as investors remain cautious ahead of the FOMC meeting" slated for Wednesday, he added.

Last Friday, Wall Street finished lower on tech losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.43 percent, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite decreased 1.87 percent, and the S&P 500 dropped 0.93 percent. But all three major indexes closed out the week higher than the previous week.

In Seoul, the market opened higher Monday, boosted by gains of automakers and car parts suppliers.

South Korea's leading carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 2.62 percent to 196,000 won and its smaller affiliate Kia also added 1.73 percent to 82,300 won. Auto parts suppliers Hyundai Mobis went up 3.43 percent to close at 226,000 won.

Last week, Hyundai Motor said its net profit for the three months ending in June jumped 56 percent on luxury Genesis models and SUVs, and the won's weakness against the dollar.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics lost 0.33 percent to 61,100 won, and major chipmaker SK hynix remained flat at 100,000 won.

Battery giant LG Energy Solution also gained 2.36 percent to 391,000 won, after dipping as low as 371,000 won in earlier trading, as an IPO lock-up period for institutional investors is set to expire Wednesday.

Samsung Biologics remained unchanged at 829,000 won, while pharmaceutical company Celltrion jumped 3.06 percent to close at 185,000 won.

The local currency ended at 1,313.70 won against the US dollar, down 0.7 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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