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Intraday bargain-hunting sends Kospi up

June 12,2008
Korean stocks closed higher yesterday as investors picked up Samsung Electronics and other tech shares, offsetting losses from a foreign sell-off, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 7.29 points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,781.67 after a seesaw session. Volume was moderate at 277.37 million shares worth 4.89 trillion won ($4.74 billion), with gainers outpacing losers, 454 to 324.

“The market underwent a volatile day, with the index falling to the 1,760-point range at one point. The excessive fall, however, prompted bargain-hunting in some sectors, helping the index end higher for the first time in four sessions,” said Lee Kyong-su, an analyst at Daewoo Securities.

Tech shares helped the market bounce back. Industry leader Samsung Electronics jumped 2.25 percent to 681,000 won ($663) and smaller LG Electronics added 3.42 percent to 136,000 won.

Display maker Samsung SDI climbed 3.31 percent to 87,300 won on expectations the company will focus more on producing batteries for fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles amid rising crude prices. No. 1 chemicals producer and battery maker LG Chem also benefited, surging 6.93 percent.

Airline companies ended in positive territory, snapping their two-day losing streak. Korean Air Lines jumped 2.18 percent and Asiana Airlines gained 1.42 percent.

Telecom shares, however, were dented following reports that the government and the nation’s three mobile carriers agreed to drastically cut service rates for low-income earners. SK Telecom plunged 4 percent and KTF closed down 0.35 percent.

Shipyard and steel companies weighed on the market. Hyundai Heavy Industries lost 1.91 percent and Samsung Heavy Industries shed 0.97 percent. Steelmaking giant Posco lost 0.69 percent to 579,000 won.

The tech-heavy Kosdaq also gained 2.66 points to end at 628.67.

NHN, the Kosdaq index’s biggest company by market value, dropped 1.3 percent, to 185,500, the lowest since Sept. 11 and extending a six-day, 12 percent slide. Goldman, Sachs and Co. cut its price estimate by 13 percent to 220,000 won in a report. Revenue growth from Internet gaming could slow if the government strengthens regulations on online gambling, the brokerage said. Yonhap, Bloomberg



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