Seoul shares turn higher late Mon. morning on tech gains

SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) -- Seoul shares turned higher late Monday morning on tech gains amid speculations that a second straight quarterly U.S. contraction may have the Federal Reserve become less aggressive in raising rates.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had risen 6.9 points, or 0.28 percent, to trade at 2,458.40 points as of 11:20 a.m.

Individuals and foreigners bought a combined 56 billion won (US$43 million) worth of stocks, exceeding institutions' net selling valued at 49 billion won.

The KOSPI got a boost as individuals turned net buyers in three days and foreigners continued to purchase local stocks for a third consecutive session, analysts said.

"But investors remain cautious in reorganizing their portfolios as the quarterly contraction in the U.S. economy and China's limited economic stimulus packages (amid the extended COVID-19 pandemic) weigh on the stock markets," Suh Sang-young, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities Co., said.

Tech and auto stocks were lead gainers, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rising 0.2 percent, LG Electronics Inc. climbing 0.5 percent and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gaining 0.3 percent.

Among decliners, national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. fell 0.4 percent, state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. declined 1.1 percent, and leading cosmetics firm AmorePacific Corp. was down 0.8 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,305.35 won against the U.S. dollar, down 6.25 won from the previous session's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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