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Kospi gains as U.S. pledges rescue plan

Sept 20,2008
The Kospi ended up after a roller- coaster session. [YONHAP]

Korean shares soared more than 4 percent yesterday on an overnight Wall Street rally prompted by hopes that the U.S. authorities may propose new measures to prevent a financial meltdown, analysts said.

The local currency gained against the greenback.

The benchmark Kospi soared 63.36 points, or 4.6 percent, to 1,455.78.

Volume was heavy at 445.3 million shares worth 7.69 trillion won ($6.75 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 707 to 135.

The Korea Exchange, the nation’s bourse operator, temporarily suspended program selling in the morning due to volatile futures prices.

“A series of news reports, such as the U.S. government’s reported plan to absorb bad debts and the Chinese central bank’s measures to stabilize its stock market, provided momentum,” said Kwak Jung-bo, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities.

U.S. stocks rallied Thursday on a CNBC news report, citing congressional aides, that said Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was considering creating an entity to absorb banks’ bad debt.

Steel and shipyard shares led the overall sharp gains. Top steelmaker Posco advanced 8.73 percent to 454,500 won, and Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s leading shipbuilder, soared 9.92 percent to 271,500 won.

Export-driven shares were also buoyed, with tech behemoth Samsung Electronics driven up 7.93 percent to 558,000 won and Hyundai Motor, the nation’s largest automaker, adding 4.48 percent to end at 70,000 won. Most financials also ended in positive territory.

The local currency closed at 1,139.7 won to the U.S. dollar, up 13.6 won from Thursday’s close. Yonhap



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