중앙데일리

Markets gain as oil prices take a breather

June 17,2008
Korean stocks closed higher yesterday as investors snapped up financial shares and automakers on improved sentiment from Wall Street gains and falling oil prices, analysts said. The local currency rebounded against the U.S. dollar. The benchmark Kospi advanced 13.47 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,760.82.

“The key index pared earlier gains in late trading mainly because of sell-offs by institutional and foreign investors,” said Park Suk-hyun, an analyst at Eugene Investment and Securities. “Investors also seemed to be cautious ahead of a second-quarter earnings report by Lehman Brothers Holdings.”

The Seoul bourse got off to a strong start as galloping gains of oil prices eased on speculation that Saudi Arabia is prepared to increase supply.

Tech blue chips gained ground, mirroring rises in U.S. tech shares. Industry leader Samsung Electronics rose 2.5 percent to 691,000 won ($665) and No. 2 chip-making exporter Hynix Semiconductor gained 0.2 percent.

Financial shares gained momentum with No. 2 financial services firm Shinhan Financial Group adding 4.2 percent.

Automakers extended gains on a fall in oil prices and expectations for stronger second-quarter earnings. Top carmaker Hyundai Motor added 1.8 percent and its affiliate Kia Motors advanced 3.4 percent.

Airlines were lifted as oil woes eased and the government raised the cap of fuel surcharges that airlines can levy on overseas flights starting in July. Top carrier Korean Air added 4.4 percent and its smaller rival Asiana Airlines rose 3 percent.

Volume was moderate at 368.1 million shares worth 4.52 trillion won, with gainers outpacing losers, 420 to 378.

U.S. stocks closed higher Friday as tame consumer price index figures eased inflation woes. The Dow Jones industrial average added 1.4 percent and the tech-dominated Nasdaq composite index rose 2.1 percent.

After falling to 1,044 won at one point, the local currency closed at 1,038.3 won against the dollar, up 2.7 won from Friday’s close, after Choi Jong-ku, a senior official at the Finance Ministry, said the government is hoping the won moves in a direction that will help curb inflation.

Yonhap


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