Seoul: Shares post fourth straight weekly gain

SOUTH Korean shares closed higher on Friday (Aug 12), marking their fourth straight weekly gain, as signs of cooling inflation in the United States calmed investors who were worried about aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

The won firmed slightly, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

The benchmark Kospi ended 4.16 points or 0.16 per cent higher at 2,527.94.

Among heavyweights, technology giant Samsung Electronics rose 0.50 per cent and peer SK Hynix was flat, while battery maker LG Energy Solution fell 2.44 per cent.

A softer-than-expected US inflation data spurred some rally, and investors are waiting for more economic data from the United States, including factory output, to gauge the strength of growth, Daishin Securities' analyst Lee Kyoung-min said.

Foreigners were net sellers of 13.6 billion won (S$14.3 million) worth of shares on the main board.

The won was quoted at 1,302.4 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, up 0.05 per cent.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,302.3 per dollar, up 0.2 per cent, while in non-deliverable forward trading, its 1-month contract was quoted at 1,301.4.

The Kospi has fallen 15.10 per cent so far this year, but gained 8.2 per cent in the previous 30 trading sessions.

The trading volume was 437.81 million shares. Of the total traded issues of 929, the number of advancing shares was 565.

The won has lost 8.7 per cent against the dollar so far this year.

In money and debt markets, September futures on 3-year treasury bonds fell 0.21 point to 105.04.

The most liquid 3-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 4.7 basis points to 3.187 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield rose by 6.5 basis points to 3.304 per cent. REUTERS

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