Korean vehicle sales abroad drive gains
Seoul’s main bourse closed near 2,150 on Thursday, boosted by foreign purchases and institutions as well as the performance of Korean vehicles in the European market.
The benchmark Kospi closed at 2,149.15 on Thursday, up 10.75 points, or 0.5 percent, over the previous trading day.
Institutions and foreign investors scooped up stocks worth 224 billion won ($196.9 million) and 74.9 billion won each. Retail investors sold off 274.8 billion won in shares.
In particular, foreign investors bought local chemical shares worth 69.2 billion won and transportation and equipment shares worth 58.6 billion won. They offloaded electrical and electronics shares.
By sector, autos climbed 2.8 percent and mechanical equipment and securities rose 0.9 percent.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics saw its shares tumble 1.52 percent to 2,014,000 won. Korea Electric Power Corporation fell 0.34 percent and KB Financial Group slipped 0.2 percent to 50,000 won.
Still, local carmakers were in positive terrain, thanks to Hyundai Motor’s sales in Europe, which rose 6.9 percent year-on-year. The automaker’s stock jumped 3.28 percent to 141,500 won on Thursday and sister company Kia gained 2.35 percent to 34,900 won. Its affiliate auto parts manufacturer Hyundai Mobis gained 2.56 percent to 220,500 won.
LG Chem, who announced on Wednesday first-quarter record revenue of 6.48 trillion won and a six-year-high operating profit of 796.9 billion won, advanced 3.14 percent Thursday to 279,000 won.
Leading chipmaker SK Hynix added 3.11 percent to 51,400 won and portal giant Naver added 2.45 percent to 796,000 won.
The secondary Kosdaq fell slightly, down 0.19 points, or 0.03 percent, to 635.80, affected by Kakao, second in market capitalization in the index, as it is considering a move to Kospi. The messenger application operator’s stocks soared 4.13 percent to 90,800 won. Pharmaceutical firm Celltrion slipped 0.55 percent to 91,200 won and CJ E&M, CJ’s entertainment arm, shrank 0.95 percent to 83,300 won.
The won closed at 1,139.80 won against the greenback, up 0.4 won.
Yields on three-year and 10-year government bonds remained fixed at 1.67 and 2.14 percent each.
BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [firstname.lastname@example.org]