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Institutions skim profits and Kospi slips a notch

Apr 29,2008
Seoul’s main stock market closed marginally lower yesterday as earlier gains were offset by institutional selling of machinery and steelmakers, analysts said.
The benchmark Kospi edged down 1.51 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,823.17. Volume was moderate at 366 million shares worth 6.3 trillion won ($6.3 billion), with losers outpacing winners, 464 to 310.
“Marginal gains from retail and institutional buying were reversed in the afternoon, with institutions dumping blue chips following steep gains on Friday,” said Rhyu Yong-suk, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.
Machinery and steel shares led the losses. Doosan Heavy Industries declined 2.8 percent. The top steelmaker Posco shed 0.4 percent.
Shipyards also finished in the minus column. Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s leading shipbuilder, fell 1.1 percent
Samsung Electronics soared 3.8 percent to 716,000 won on last week’s stellar quarterly performance announcement. Mirae Asset Securities and other brokerages raised their price estimates in separate reports, citing mobile-phone profitability and a strong liquid-crystal display industry.
But Hynix Semiconductor tumbled 5.2 percent. An expected second-half recovery of the chip industry will probably stop at being a seasonal fluctuation, Prudential Investment and Securities said in a report, citing increases in investments at rivals.
Kookmin Bank jumped 4.2 percent. Shinhan Financial Group added 1.4 percent.
“The biggest factor boosting banks is improving views of the U.S. financials,” said Mo Jae-sung, a fund manager at Hanwha Investment Trust Management. “Earnings at U.S. banks appear to have hit bottom and that’s helping lift sentiment on banks in general.”
First Fire and Marine Insurance gained 8.4 percent, rebounding from a loss of as much as 15 percent after Meritz Fire and Marine Insurance nearly doubled the price it offered for a controlling stake, to 30,000 won a share. The stock dropped by the 15 percent limit on April 25.Yonhap, Bloomberg



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