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Blue chip stocks fuel sharp market gains

Aug 07,2008
Korean stocks finished sharply higher yesterday.

The benchmark Kospi surged 43.17 points, or 2.8 percent, to 1,578.71. Volume was moderate at 269.76 million shares worth 4.5 trillion won ($4.4 billion) with gainers outpacing losers 621 to 187.

Most blue chips finished substantially higher, with construction stocks leading overall gains.

Top domestic builder Daewoo Engineering and Construction added 2.8 percent to end at 12,900 won and Hyundai Engineering and Construction also soared 7.0 percent to 64,100 won.

Finance stocks also gained ground, especially brokerage houses. Samsung Securities advanced 4.6 percent to 64,300 won and top lender Kookmin Bank rose 2.4 percent to 60,400 won.

Mirae Asset Securities Co., an affiliate of Korea’s biggest asset manager, rose 5,800 won, or 6 percent, to 102,500, the most since July 21.

Samsung Electronics advanced 3.5 percent to 587,000 won, along with other tech exporters. Hynix Semiconductor surged 8.2 percent to 22,400 won and No. 2 consumer electronics maker LG Electronics climbed 4.3 percent to 109,000 won.

Korean Air Lines Co. the nation’s biggest carrier, climbed 3,350 won, or 7.8 percent, to 46,100. Asiana Airlines Inc., the second-largest, rose 410 won, or 8.9 percent, to 5,010. Both stocks gained the most since July 10.

Crude oil slid 1.8 percent to $119.20 a barrel Tuesday in New York. It was the first time in three months that the contract closed below $120. Shinsegae Co. which runs Korea’s biggest discount-store chain, climbed 22,000 won, or 4.3 percent, to 540,000, the most since Nov. 29.

The stock is BNP Paribas SA’s “top pick’’ among the nation’s retailers as it will benefit the most of a rebound in discount-store sales, the brokerage said in a report.

Nong Shim Co., Korea’s biggest instant- noodle maker, lost 8,500 won, or 3.8 percent, to 215,000, the most since July 18. Macquarie Group Ltd. cut its recommendation to “neutral’’ from “outperform’’ in a report, saying high raw-material costs will squeeze margins.

The local currency closed at 1,015.9 won against the dollar, up 2 won from Tuesday’s close. Yonhap, Bloomberg



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