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Stocks see early spring on better credit ratings

Feb 03,2007
The market’s final session of the week saw stocks rise sharply yesterday as institutional buyers and foreign investors mopped up financial shares on an improved credit rating outlook for local lenders.
The bellwether Kospi climbed 30.24 points, or 2.2 percent, to 1,413.14. “The main index was driven by sharp blue chip gains, especially among lenders. Fitch Ratings’ decision to raise its credit rating outlooks for Kookmin Bank and Shinhan Bank seems to have acted in favor of financial stocks,” said Kim Hak-gyun, an analyst at Korea Investment and Securities.
With the upgrade, financial shares led the market before the reports on their earnings were released. Kookmin Bank share price rose 6.5 percent and Shinhan Financial Group, the second largest financial services provider, added 4.7 percent.
Samsung Electronics, the benchmark tech stock, went up 1.2 percent to 587,000 won ($626). Other tech issues added value with Hynix Semiconductor, the world’s second-largest computer memory chip maker, rising 2.7 percent.
Hyundai Heavy Industry, the world’s largest ship yard announced its biggest-ever increase in net income, a jump of 289 percent in 2006 compared to the previous year. Its stock price rose by 5.4 percent. Shipbuilders with strong earnings and a bright business outlook had a good day. Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction added 2.2 percent; Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Company also followed the trend.
Volume was moderate at 210 million shares worth 3.9 trillion won; gainers outstripped losers 495 to 120.
The junior Kosdaq added 9.26 points, or 1.59 percent, at 591.72. More than 599 million shares worth 1.8 trillion won changed hands. 654 shares advanced, outpacing 247 losers.


By Hwang Young-jin Staff Writer [yhwang@joongang.co.kr]


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