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Markets break free from U.S. troubles, gain 1.2%

Sept 07,2007
Seoul’s main stock market gained yesterday, ending a two-day decline. The benchmark Kospi closed at 1,888.81, up 23.22 points, or 1.2 percent.
The market started the day weak, after Wall Street ended lower on concerns about a credit crisis triggered by defaults of subprime mortgages in the United States. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 1.1 percent on Wednesday, after U.S. realtors reported the largest drop since 2001 in the number of people purchasing previously-owned homes.
But program-based buying by local institutional investors pulled up the Seoul market. Rises in other Asian markets, including China, and the Korean Finance Ministry’s optimism about the domestic economy improved investor sentiment, analysts said.
Vice Finance Minister Kim Seok-dong said at a weekly press briefing yesterday that the economic recovery was accelerating.
On the Seoul market, core blue chips were generally strong. Samsung Electronics climbed 1.1 percent. Top steelmaker Posco jumped 4.4 percent. LG.Philips LCD gained 3.2 percent on higher panel prices.
But banking shares were weak. Top lender Kookmin Bank shed 0.9 percent.
Trade volume was 438.9 million shares, valued at 5.3 trillion won ($5.7 billion). Winners outnumbered losers, 453 to 329.
The secondary Kosdaq market ended marginally higher yesterday after a two-day drop. The index rose 3.36 points, or 0.4 percent, to 776.90 won.
The index-heavyweight dot- coms were weak. NHN, which operates the nation’s biggest Internet portal Naver, shed 0.5 percent. Daum Communications, the second largest portal, lost 1.6 percent.
About 537.3 million shares worth 1.7 trillion won were traded on the market.
Advancing shares nosed out decliners, 467 to 455.


By Moon So-young Staff Writer [symoon@joongang.co.kr]


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