Shares climb on foreign investor buying

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Shares climb on foreign investor buying

Korean shares closed 0.98 percent higher yesterday, nearing the 2,000 level, backed by aggressive buying by foreign investors. The bullish sentiment arose after the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9 percent to 15,063.12 on Monday, its biggest gain in two months.

The benchmark Kospi climbed 19.39 points to close at 1,994.06 yesterday in Seoul. Though retail and institutional investors were net sellers in local shares, foreign investors continued their purchasing streak.

Blue chip shares also gained ground yesterday. Shares of Samsung Electronics jumped 1.68 percent to close at 1.39 million won ($1,280), while shares of Hyundai Motor rose 0.81 percent to 250,000 won. Shares of Posco also went up 1.96 percent to 338,500 won, while shares of Hyundai Mobis increased 0.35 percent to 290,500 won.

Financial shares also rose. Shares of Shinhan Financial Group jumped 1.4 percent to 43,600 won, while shares of KB Financial Group rose 1.09 percent to 36,950 won. Shares of Hana Financial Group went up 2.41 percent to 38,300 won, while shares of Woori Financial Group rose 2.94 percent to 12,250 won.

Telecommunication shares, however, dropped. Shares of SK Telecom went down 1.15 percent to close at 214,000 won, while shares of KT dipped 1.36 percent to close at 36,350 won.

The Korean won pared recent gains yesterday, retreating from its strongest level since February after the central bank was suspected of selling the currency to limit appreciation.

The currency rose 0.3 percent to close at 1,084.13 per dollar in Seoul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It earlier rose as much as 0.45 percent to 1,081.95 before erasing the advance in the 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. period. The won is still up 5.3 percent this quarter, the most among 24 emerging market currencies tracked by Bloomberg, as overseas investors boosted their holdings of the nation’s stocks by $4.8 billion.

“Foreign funds are buying local stocks, which have supported the won, based on optimism that global economies are recovering,” said Jeon Seung-ji, a currency analyst at Samsung Futures. “Authorities likely bought dollars, which slowed the won’s gain.”


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