S. Korean stocks keep winning streak for 2 days

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SEOUL, March 26 (Xinhua) — South Korean stocks kept a winning streak for two straight days on Friday as both foreign and institutional investors bought stocks following Wall Street rally overnight.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 32.68 points, or 1.09 percent, to settle at 3,041.01. Trading volume stood at 1.02 billion shares worth 15.4 trillion won (13.6 billion U.S. dollars).

The KOSPI started 0.15 percent higher and extended initial gains throughout the session as foreign and institutional investors purchased shares worth 295.9 billion won (261.6 million U.S. dollars) and 124.3 billion won (109.9 million U.S. dollars) respectively.

It came after U.S. stocks ended on an upbeat note. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.62 percent, and the S&P 500 rose 0.52 percent. The Nasdaq Composite index was up 0.12 percent.

Large-cap shares gained ground. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.4 percent, and memory chip giant SK hynix increased 1.5 percent. The most-used search engine Naver climbed 0.8 percent, and leading chemical firm LG Chem went up 1.8 percent.

Samsung Biologics, a pharmaceutical unit of Samsung Group, was up 1.0 percent, and rechargeable battery producer Samsung SDI advanced 1.9 percent. Biopharmaceutical behemoth Celltrion picked up 2.1 percent, but the biggest automaker Hyundai Motor slumped 1.2 percent.

The small-cap KOSDAQ added 1.71 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 956.70.

The local currency finished at 1,129.3 won versus the greenback, up 4.0 won from the prior close. The South Korean currency appreciated amid the recovering appetite for risky assets. Enditem

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