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Institutional investors drive Kospi comeback

Aug 05,2017
Korean stocks closed higher Friday, pulling away from the previous session’s near one-week low, as institutional buyers scooped up steel and chemical shares. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi gained 8.65 points, or 0.36 percent, to close at 2,395.45. Trade volume was modest at 270.62 million shares worth 4.9 trillion won ($4.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 468 to 335.

Analysts said Seoul stocks built up as chemical and steel sectors rose, but further gains were limited as foreign investors continued to offload large-cap tech shares.

Institutions were net buyers, snatching up 214.2 billion won to extend a two-day buying spree while foreign and individual buyers offloaded a net 163.2 billion won and 94.2 billion worth of local stocks, respectively.

“Foreign investors continued to sell local tech shares following the overnight U.S. tech shares’ slump,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoon Securities. On Thursday the broad-based S&P shed 0.2 percent and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.4 percent.

Steel and chemical shares closed higher, with leading steel maker Posco closing at 334,000 won, up 1.21 percent, and Hyundai Steel advancing 2.13 percent to close at 62,300 won compared to the last trading day.

LG Chem, the country’s top chemical firm, added 4.1 percent to 342,500 won, and Lotte Chemical jumped 4.78 percent to 394,500 won.

Tech shares ended bearish, with Samsung Electronics ending at 2,385,000 won, down 0.17 percent. LG Display, a major flat panel display maker, lost 0.8 percent to 30,850 won and computer chip manufacturer SK Hynix also shed 2.29 percent to 64,000 won.

Telecom shares were weak. Korea’s largest mobile carrier SK Telecom lost 2.3 percent to 276,500 won while competitors KT inched down 0.71 percent to 34,750 won and LG U+ shrank 1.77 percent to 16,650 won.

The secondary Kosdaq market closed at 641.58, down 1.51 points or 0.23 percent from the previous trading day.

Celltrion dipped down 0.1 percent to close at 102,600 won while Medytox fell 5.84 percent to 506,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,128,80 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.80 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds added 0.5 basis point to 1.742 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year bonds moved down 0.5 basis point to 1.949 percent.


BY KIM JEE-HEE, YONHAP [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]


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