Market up as Greece settles on debt swap

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Market up as Greece settles on debt swap

Korean stocks closed 0.88 percent higher yesterday, as Greece finally settled on its long-pending debt swap plan to restructure its fiscal health, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi gained 17.54 points to finish at 2,018.30. Trading volume was moderate at 406.4 million shares worth 5.31 trillion won ($4.76 billion) with gainers outpacing decliners 442 to 349.

“Since a breakthrough was made on the Greece deal, there’s no particular external factor that will disturb the market for now,” said Kim Joo-yong, an analyst at Bookook Securities.

The debt-ridden European nation was able to secure consent from over 85 percent of its bondholders for a debt write-down in order to prevent a disorderly default. The creditors need to write down more than half of their debts, worth 206 billion euros ($272 billion), and Greece will be able to get an additional rescue fund of 130 billion euro from its European neighbors.

With Greece helping ease market fears amid the nagging euro zone debt crisis and recent upbeat economic data from the United States, the Kospi will likely trend upward, but move in range-bound trading in the short-term, Kim added.

Retail investors and institutions offloaded their holdings on profit-taking, but foreigners snapped a four-day selling streak to scoop up a net 23.3 billion won.

Tech firms and machineries were bullish, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics surging 4.24 percent to an all-time high of 1,230,000 won and heavy equipment maker Doosan Infracore jumping 4.29 percent to 24,300 won.

Shinsegae International, an apparel wholesaler, spiked 7.18 percent to 112,000 won following media reports that it plans to buy local cosmetics brand Vidi Vici in a bid to widen its footing in the local beauty market.

In contrast, telecom companies and steelmakers were bearish, with major mobile carrier SK Telecom shedding 0.72 percent to 138,000 won and top steelmaker Posco retreating 0.62 percent to 339,000 won.

The local currency ended at 1,117.80 won against the greenback, up 0.5 won from Thursday’s close, as foreign investors snapped up local equities, dealers said.

The yield on three-year Treasuries edged up 0.01 percentage point to 3.49 percent.


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