중앙데일리

Battered Kospi giants regain lost ground

Oct 31,2008
A foreign currency dealer at Korea Exchange Bank in Seoul yesterday. [YONHAP]
Korean stocks finished almost 12 percent higher yesterday on hopes that a currency swap deal with the U.S. and a rate cut by the Federal Reserve will relieve market turmoil. The benchmark Kospi jumped 115.75 points, or 11.95 percent, to 1,084.72, its largest-ever daily gain. Volume was heavy at 616.5 million shares worth 7.32 trillion won ($5.85 billion), with gainers outpacing losers, 841 to 53.

“News of the currency swap deal has relieved the currency concern, which had been making foreign investors flee the local market,” said Kwak Jung-bo, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities.

Large-cap shares enjoyed strong gains, with some soaring at double-digit rates.

Steelmakers and shipbuilders, which have been taking a beating recently, led the gains amid massive institutional buying. Top steelmaker Posco gained 14.85 percent to 352,000 won and leading shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries added 14.96 percent to end at 157,500 won. Tech and automakers were bolstered as well. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics shored up 13.05 percent to 537,000 won and top automaker Hyundai Motor soared 14.7 percent to 63,200 won. Finance, telecom and other sectors added ground as well.

The Korean currency closed at 1,250 won to the greenback, up 177 won from Wednesday’s close and the biggest single-day gain in almost 11 years, as foreign investors purchased the won to return to the stock market, dealers said. Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The return on three-year Treasuries fell 0.15 percentage point to 4.39 percent and the benchmark yield on five-year government bonds also shed 0.13 percentage point to 4.58 percent. Yonhap



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