Markets rebound, at least for now

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Markets rebound, at least for now

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A signboard at the Korea Exchange Bank’s headquarters in Myeong-dong, central Seoul, shows the Kospi recovering to above the 1,700 mark. The Seoul bourse saw a 5 percent increase, the highest growth in nearly 3 years, as foreign investors expecting the European countries to take affirmative action against the euro zone crisis rushed to the stock markets. [YONHAP]

The Seoul stock market turned around yesterday after its free fall in three consecutive sessions. The Kospi index gained more than 5 percent yesterday to settle above the 1,700-point mark.

This is the sharpest growth the benchmark Kospi has seen in nearly three years.

Anxiety in the currency market eased after recent scares when the won weakened to inches away from 1,200 against the U.S. dollar.

Experts say the new-found stability in the stock and currency markets was largely because of the bullish results in New York on Monday. The Dow Jones average gained more than 2.5 percent to close at 11,043.90.

“The New York market saw a steep rise on Monday as investors rushed to buy shares whose value had dropped in the recent bear market,” said Hong Seok-chan, an analyst at Daishin Securities. “Additionally, expectations that European countries will step up their cooperation in addressing the euro zone crisis also pushed the market up.”

Massive buying by foreign investors, a sharp contrast to their recent behavior, also helped the Seoul Exchange’s recovery.

The Kospi closed at 1,735.71 after gaining 83 points, or 5.02 percent, and the won gained 22.7 units to close at 1,173.10 to the dollar. That was the biggest gain for stocks here since Jan. 28, 2009, when the market rose 5.91 percent.

Other Asian markets were up at the news that European countries are settling on plans to solve their debt problems. Tokyo’s market was up 2.8 percent for the day, while the markets in Taiwan and Hong Kong closed more than 3 percent higher.

But the clouds have not all vanished. Traders say it is too early to call the turn in the current bear market. They say its direction will be determined by Germany, Finland and Austria’s votes on ratifying the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) rescue fund scheduled, a vote that will be taken later this week.

“The struggle in Europe is expanding from a fiscal crisis to bank crisis,” said Lee Jae-man, an analyst with Tong Yang Securities. “Furthermore, the market’s faith in government policies has fallen significantly.”

According to Lee, as fears about European banks’ holdings of suspect sovereign debt bonds emerged, European shares have plunged nearly 50 percent from their 2011 highs. The IMF estimates a net loss to European banks if treasury notes and bonds of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Belgium go bad of roughly 300 billion euros ($404 billion).

“Several European financial institutions are continuously withdrawing their investments in risky assets such as stocks, because of the need to secure capital while fears of a liquidity crisis grow,” said Eric Lee of Woori Investment and Securities. “This not only has increased the Korean currency exchange volatility, but it is encouraging global investors to sell shares.” In the last three trading days, the Kospi fell more than 200 points, or nearly 11 percent. “This drop is faster than that in the stock market in August,” the analyst said. The local market tumbled after Standard and Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time, sparking fear that the global economy would fall as U.S. enters a recession.

The weakening currency has also been a major problem in Korea’s stock market. Recently there were fears that the weakened Korean currency against the U.S. dollar would further spur foreign investors to pull out of the stock market here to make profits in currency arbitrage.

The won, which had been hovering around the 1,100-won level earlier this year, strengthened to about 1,050 to the dollar in May through July before losing value to as low as 1,195.80 won in Monday’s market.


By Lee Ho-jeong [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [연합뉴스]

코스피 폭등, 환율 폭락…시장 변동성 확대

코스피 1,735로 상승, 환율 1,170원대로 하락

코스피가 2년8개월만에 최대 폭으로 폭등하고 원ㆍ달러 환율은 23원 가까이 폭락했다.

유로존 위기가 해결될 수 있다는 기대감에 주가가 크게 올랐고 이는 원ㆍ달러 환율을 큰 폭으로 끌어올렸다.

27일 주식시장에서 코스피는 전날보다 83.00포인트(5.02%) 오른 1,735.71에 장을 마감했다. 하루 상승폭으로는 2009년 1월28일(5.91%) 이후 최고치다. 유가증권시장 시가총액도 46조8천367억원이나 불어났다.

동양종금증권 이재만 연구원은 "전형적인 기술적 반등 양상이 나타나고 있다. 코스피 1,800선까지는 반등세가 이어질 것으로 보인다"고 말했다.

외국인은 1천707억원 어치를 순매수하며 지수 상승을 이끌었다. 외국인이 매수 우위를 보인 것은 4거래일만에 처음이다.

서울 외환시장에서 원ㆍ달러 환율은 전날보다 22.70원 떨어진 1,173.10원으로 거래를 마쳤다.

환율은 17.80원 떨어진 1,178.00원으로 거래를 시작한 뒤 매수세가 유입되면서 1,187.00원으로 올랐지만, 주식시장 강세 여파로 매물이 늘어나자 1,170원 선으로 밀렸다.

이후 환율은 한동안 1,180원 부근에서 공방을 벌인 뒤 장 후반으로 갈수록 매물이 쌓이자 1,169.50원까지 저점을 낮춘 뒤 하락폭을 약간 줄인 채 장을 마쳤다.

외환시장 관계자는 "국내외 증시가 일제히 반등하자 수출기업의 매물이 쏟아졌다"며 "원화 가치가 다른 통화에 비해 과도하게 절하됐다는 인식도 달러화 매도세를 강화시키는 요인이 됐다"고 말했다.

서울 채권시장에서 오후 3시30분 현재 국고3년 11-2호는 전날보다 0.06%포인트 내린 3.45%, 국고5년 11-1호는 전날보다 0.04% 하락한 3.57%에 거래되고 있다.

국채선물 12월물은 전날보다 21틱 오른 104.23에 거래를 마쳤다.

SK증권 염상훈 채권 애널리스트는 "그동안 환율 급등에 따른 외국인 이탈 우려가 있었는데, 이날 환율이 급락하면서 금리 상승분을 일부 되돌렸다. 주식시장의 상승은 폭발적이었지만 낙관론은 그만큼 크지 않아 금리 하락폭이 제한됐다"고 말했다.

아시아 증시의 주요지수도 일제히 상승했다.

일본 닛케이지수는 235.82포인트(2.82%) 오른 8,609.95에 장을 마감했다. 대만 가권지수도 3.09% 급등했다. 한국시각으로 오후 3시50분 현재 중국 상하이종합지수는 1.26%, 싱가포르지수는 2.25%, 인도네시아지수는 4.50% 각각 올랐다.

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