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Investors, ignoring bailout, return to Kospi

Sept 26,2008
Investors, ignoring bailout, return to Kospi
Korean stocks finished higher yesterday for the fifth-straight session as a recovery in investor confidence buoyed tech, finance and other large-cap shares, analysts said. The local currency depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi added 5.65 points, or 0.38 percent, to end at 1,501.63, after dipping to the 1,460-level in the morning on foreign selling. Volume was heavy at 412.74 million shares worth 4.68 trillion won ($4.93 billion), with gainers outpacing losers, 499 to 316.

“The key index’s rise definitely reflects a recovery in confidence in the local bourse, with investors seemingly almost carefree about the U.S. Congress debate on the proposed $700 billion bailout plan,” said Lim Dong-min, an analyst at Dongbu Securities. Tech exporters and shipyard shares led the overall gains. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 0.53 percent to 567,000 won, and LG Electronics, Samsung’s crosstown rival, also gained 1.1 percent. LG Display, the world’s No. 2 liquid-crystal display manufacturer, jumped 2.3 percent.

Leading shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries jumped 2.15 percent and top power generator producer Doosan Heavy Industries surged 0.2 percent. Securities and telecom stocks also gained moderately. Hyundai Securities climbed 3.4 percent, and Daewoo Securities, the third-biggest Korean brokerage by market value, rose 4.5 percent.

“Brokerage stocks are especially sensitive to changing moods in the market, and investors’ speculation that we may see a bear market rally seems to be lifting the overall sector,’’ said Yoo Seong-sik, a fund manager at ING Investment Management Korea.

Top fixed-line operator KT added 1.23 percent. SK Telecom, the leading mobile phone operator, lost 1 percent.

Construction and shipping stocks, however, prevented the key index from rising further. Hyundai Engineering and Construction slid 2.12 percent, and Hanjin Shipping lost 1.65 percent. Crown Confectionery, a Korean maker of snacks and bread, fell 5.7 percent.

The local currency closed at 1,158.2 won to the dollar, down 3.7 won from Wednesday’s close, on increased greenback demand from importers for settlements, dealers said. Yonhap, Bloomberg




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