Market is zeroing in on the 1,980 markThe Korean bourse is expected to surpass the 1,980 mark this week backed by institutional and foreign investors. The Kospi gained 0.33 percent to close at 1,979.97.
Although the market dipped slightly last week over concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve may reduce its monetary stimulus and weakness in Chinese manufacturing data, the Kospi rallied for two days. During trading hours, it surpassed the 1,980 mark.
In contrast to the Kospi, U.S. equities ended off their lows on Friday while U.S. 10-year Treasury yields steadied near 2 percent, suggesting to investors that the dollar will resume its rally against the yen and other markets will be calmer.
Other Asian stock markets were still under stress, having suffered their biggest weekly drop in around a year as investors also fretted about the possibility of the Fed dialing down its stimulus program as well as a slowing Chinese economy.
In the Kospi, foreign investors scooped a net 39.9 billion won and institutional investors snapped up 105.7 billion won of Korean shares. Retail investors, however, dumped 132.6 billion won of local shares.
Stock prices of food and beverage companies, textile manufacturers, machinery, transportation equipment-making businesses and builders rose by as much as 1.5 percent.
Telecommunications, paper and medicine companies dipped under 1 percent.
Samsung Electronics, the No. 1 market cap company, added 0.2 percent to close at 1,489,000 won.
Three automobile shares, including No. 2 market cap company Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Mobis and Kia Motors rose.
Hanjin Shipping lost 4.03 percent after local Internet news site Newstapa released a list of conglomerate owners who have set up paper companies in tax havens. The Hanjin chairman’s name was included in the list.
In the blue chip Kospi market, 493 companies saw their shares rise, while 381 fell.
The small-cap Kosdaq market closed at 577.56, up 0.61 percent compared to Friday, thanks to a buying streak by foreign and institutional investors.
The Korean currency, meanwhile, slipped 5 won to close at 1,122.4 won per dollar.
The yield on Korea’s three-year government bonds closed at 2.61 percent.
By Kim Mi-ju, AP [firstname.lastname@example.org]