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Kospi rises as U.S.-China trade tensions ease

Dec 13,2018
Korean shares ended higher on Wednesday as institutions scooped up shares amid signs of U.S.-China trade tensions easing. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose, adding 29.60 points, or 1.44 percent, to close the session at 2,082.57. Trading volume was moderate at 439.40 million shares worth 5.30 trillion won ($4.69 billion).

“The news that Huawei’s chief financial officer was granted bail seems to have assuaged investors who were jittery over a further escalation of the U.S.-China trade war,” said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

“Given that the Kospi has been undervalued, the index is forecast to have upward momentum for time being, though concerns over the slowing global economy could cause volatility,” the analyst added.

Institutional investors picked up a net 313.7 billion won worth of shares, while foreign investors continued to sell for the third consecutive session, unloading a net 48.4 billion won. Retail investors turned net sellers after six consecutive sessions of buying, offloading a net 267.5 billion won worth of shares.

Most large-cap shares ended in positive territory.

Auto-related shares surged on reports that China was reducing auto tariffs on U.S. imports. Hyundai Motor jumped 6.28 percent to 118,500 won, and sister company Kia Motors rose 3.03 percent to 32,350 won. Auto-parts maker Hyundai Mobis spiked 9.01 percent to 193,500 won.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics edged higher 0.50 percent to 40,450 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix rose 2.00 percent to 66,200 won.

Pharmaceutical shares also ended higher as Celltrion rebounded from the previous session’s losses, adding 2.95 percent to 226,500 won. Samsung’s pharmaceutical unit Samsung BioLogics also inched higher 0.13 percent to 394,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq also rose, climbing 15.47 points, or 2.34 percent, to end the day at 676.48. The tech and bio-heavy index was helped by foreign and institutional buying as internet-related shares rose 4.42 percent on average. Foreign investors turned net buyers after two consecutive sessions of selling in the junior index.

The won closed at 1,128.50 won against the greenback, down 1.60 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The return on three-year bonds rose 1.1 basis points to 1.80 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds added 3.0 basis points to 2.01 percent.


BY CHAE YUN-HWAN, YONHAP [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]


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