UPDATE : 2018.9.23 SUN 21:17
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(LEAD) Seoul stocks gain, led by Samsung Electronics, foreign buying

(ATTN: AMENDS para 7 to show that Samsung Electronics closed at an all-time high; ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rose Tuesday as Samsung Electronics continued to advance on expectations of better earnings, supported by foreign investors buying shares. The Korean won gained against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 17.81 points, or 0.88 percent, to close at 2,043.97. Trade volume was moderate at 265 million shares worth 3.69 trillion won (US$3.06 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 475 to 321.

The local stock market opened higher, tracking gains in the European markets. China's positive factory data for last month also supported the index.

However, some investors took to the sidelines ahead of a release this week on minutes of last month's Federal Reserve meeting.

Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities, said local technology stocks are likely to show their strong performances before Samsung Electronics releases its earnings guidance for the fourth-quarter of last year on Friday.

Jeong In-ji, a researcher at Yuanta Securities, said cautious trading is seen in local stock market with no particular positives in sight. But Jeong said the scope of a further correction may be limited.

Shares of Samsung Electronics closed at an all-time high of 1,824,000 won, up 1.05 percent from the previous session. During Tuesday's trading session, the stock rose as high as 1,831,000 won.

SK hynix, a global chipmaker, jumped 3.17 percent to 47,250 won.

Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, shed 0.07 percent at 767,000 won.

Automakers traded in positive terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor up 2 percent to 153,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors climbing 3.16 percent at 40,750 won.

The local currency closed at 1,203.50 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.50 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 0.6 basis point to 1.632 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 0.5 basis points to 1.795 percent.

(END)

Park So-yeon  edt@koeapost.com

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