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Seoul stocks up after Trump promises to call Xi

Aug 20,2019
Seoul shares closed higher Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to call Chinese President Xi Jinping in a move to settle the escalating U.S.-China trade dispute. The won depreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 12.73 points, or 0.66 percent, to 1,939.90. Trading volume was moderate at 472 million shares worth 3.68 trillion won ($3.12 billion).

The prospects are growing that the trade row between the world’s top two economies may take a breather through the planned talk between Trump and Xi, and stimulus steps around the globe improving market sentiment.

“The inversion of bond yields in the United States has been normalized, leading to gains on Wall Street. This also had a positive impact on the local market,” said Yoon Jung-sun, a researcher from KB Securities.

Investors are also taking a wait-and-see stance on the so-called Jackson Hole meeting slated for this week, where Fed Chair Jerome Powell is expected to deliver messages on the future of the U.S. rate policy, analysts said.

Individuals sold a net 57 billion won worth of shares, and foreign investors sold a net 141.1 billion won worth. Institutions bought a net 188.6 billion won of stocks.

It marked the 13th consecutive session for foreigners to become net sellers in the Korean stock market.

Chemical shares finished higher, with industry leader LG Chem rising 0.31 percent to 321,000 won and top oil refiner SK Innovation advancing 1.27 percent to 160,000 won.

S-Oil added 0.68 percent to 88,900 won.

Carmakers were mixed, with No. 1 Hyundai Motor remaining unchanged at 128,000 won, while its auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis rose 1.04 percent to 242,000 won. Kia Motors shed 0.23 percent to 43,500 won.

Tech firms closed lower, with Samsung Electronics falling 0.68 percent to 43,600 won and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix sliding 1.7 percent to 75,100 won. LG Electronics, on the other hand, gained 0.67 percent to 60,300 won.

The Kosdaq rose 3.08 points, or 0.52 percent, to end the session at 594.65.

The tech-heavy index was lifted by foreign and institutional selling of shares despite a bullish market in Nasdaq Index overnight.

The won closed at 1,211.00 won against the dollar, up 0.20 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on three-year bonds fell 0.2 basis points to 1.09 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds rose 1.2 basis points to 1.18 percent.

BY KIM HE-YU, YONHAP [kim.heyu@joongang.co.kr]


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