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Tech shares lead another day of gains in Korea

Sept 15,2018
Korea’s main bourse soared on Friday thanks to gains by top-cap Samsung Electronics and other tech shares. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 32.02 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,318.25, exceeding 2,300 for the first time in eight sessions. Trade volume was slim at 5.4 trillion won ($4.8 billion).

The market opened higher following overnight gains on Wall Street led by Apple. It remained in positive terrain throughout the session on large institutional and foreign buying.

“While concerns about the trade dispute between the United States and China remain, tensions have eased compared to a few days ago,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

On Thursday, Beijing confirmed that Washington had reached out about a new round of trade talks, giving China a chance to avoid punitive tariffs on $200 billion of its goods.

Institutions bought 263 billion won while foreign investors purchased 192 billion won in local stocks. Retail investors dumped 483.9 billion won worth of shares, preventing the Kospi from closing higher.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics rose a solid 4.09 percent to close at 45,850 won, while SK Hynix, a leading chipmaker, closed up 4.3 percent at 77,700 won.

Cosmetics shares were also bullish, with Amorepacific surging 3.67 percent to 268,500 won and rival LG Household & Healthcare soaring 5.16 percent to 1,243,000 won.

Hyundai Motor, Korea’s largest automaker, edged up 0.78 percent to end at 129,500 won, and its auto parts supplier, Hyundai Mobis, rose 2.49 percent to 226,500 won. Meanwhile, Hyundai’s smaller affiliate, Kia Motors, fell 0.29 percent to 34,050 won.

Top steelmaker Posco gained 0.34 percent to close 294,000 won, and Naver, the country’s largest web portal operator, ended the day up 0.97 percent at 730,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 3.96 points, or 0.48 percent, to close at 834.91, rising for a fourth consecutive session. The bio and tech-heavy index was buoyed by a 1.2 percent incline on the U.S. Philadelphia semiconductor index, leading foreign and institutional buyers to scoop up Korean semiconductor shares.

The local currency closed at 1,116.60 won against the U.S. dollar, down 5.8 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The return on three-year bonds gained 3.9 basis points to close at 1.96 percent, while the return on 10-year bonds jumped 4.7 basis points to 2.31 percent.


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


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