Market eases after Treasury clears Korea
Korean stocks closed higher on Tuesday thanks to buying from institutional and foreign investors, whose unease about the market was lifted after the United States decided not to designate South Korea as a currency manipulator.
The benchmark index, the Kospi, rose 2.7 points or 0.13 percent from the previous trading day to close at 2,148.46. Trade volume was moderate at 285.83 million shares worth 3.83 trillion won ($3.2 billion), with advancers outnumbering decliners 478 to 298.
Earlier in the day, institutional and foreign investors offloaded domestic stocks on profit taking but later bought back shares worth 48 billion won, offsetting individuals’ selling valued at 47.5 billion won.
Steel, refinery and construction stocks underpinned the main index, but tech and auto shares made limited gains. Market behemoth Samsung Electronics fell 0.14 percent to 2,075,000 won, and the country’s leading automaker, Hyundai Motor, declined 2.08 percent to 141,000 won.
Several Lotte subsidiaries saw stock prices fall following the indictment of the conglomerate’s chairman, Shin dong-bin, on bribery charges. Lotte Chemical slumped 2.57 percent to 341,000 won, Lotte Confectionary slid 0.51 percent to 194,500 won and Lotte Food stepped down 0.97 percent to 614,000 won.
CJ continued its four-session earnings streak, jumping 4.55 percent to 184,000 won. An analyst report from Hana Financial Investment on Tuesday said that CJ shares were highly underrated as it did not reflect subsidiary CJ Olive Networks’ potential growth. CJ Olive Networks is the operator of the beauty retailer Olive Young.
The secondary Kosdaq index closed at 634.73, up 5.26 points or 0.84 percent from the previous session. By sector, digital contents and construction shares were strong, each pushing up 2.7 percent and 2.4 percent. Celltrion added 0.22 percent to end the day at 91,200 won, whereas Medytox stepped down 0.82 percent to 498,900 won.
The local currency closed at 1,142.40 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.70 won from the previous session’s close.
Government bond yields remained steady, with the three-year yield at 1.68 percent and 10-year yield at 2.17 percent.
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]