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Foreigners’ appetite for large caps lifts Kospi

Aug 22,2018
Korean shares on Tuesday ended higher as foreigners snapped up large-cap shares amid worries over trade friction between the United States and China. The won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi gained 22.18 points, or 0.99 percent, to close at 2,270.06. Trading volume was moderately light at 5.1 trillion won ($4.6 billion).

Foreigners bought a net 106.7 billion won worth of stocks. Institutions sold a net 17.0 billion won while individuals sold a net 151.5 billion won.

“Investors took a wait-and-see stance towards the U.S.-China trade talks that will be held from Aug. 22 to 23,” said Kiwoom Securities analyst Suh Sang-young. “Exports-oriented stocks will move depending on the results of the talks.”

Most Asian stocks rose ahead of the talks. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.31 percent while the Shenzen Component Index added 1.60 percent.

Tech and steel stocks were lead gainers, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics rising 2.17 percent to 44,800 won and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix jumping 4.95 percent to 78,400. Samsung Electro-Mechanics, the conglomerate’s electronic parts maker, soared 7.49 percent to 143,500 won on large foreign buying.

Leading steelmaker Posco advanced 1.56 percent to 326,000 won.

Major pharmaceutical firm Celltrion climbed 2.87 percent to 268,500 won while rival Samsung BioLogics gained 0.11 percent to 454,000 won.

NH Investment & Securities jumped 4.96 percent to 12,700 won, while Samsung Securities climbed 1.28 percent to 31,750 won.

Among decliners, top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 1.57 percent to 125,500 won and No. 1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis shed 1.70 percent to 231,000 won. Leading refiner SK Innovation fell 1.25 percent to 197,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq climbed 17.37 points, or 2.26 percent, to 787.15. The tech and bio-heavy index ended over 2 percent higher from large foreign and institutional buying despite the 0.2 percent decline in the U.S. Nasdaq biotech index.

Pharmaceuticals were major winners. Celltrion Healthcare climbed 4.69 percent to 93,800 won.

The Korean won closed at 1,118.40 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.70 won from the previous trading session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 6.6 basis points to 1.92 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds declined 2.6 basis points to 2.38 percent.


BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]


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