Upbeat consumer report boosts market

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Upbeat consumer report boosts market

Korean shares closed at their highest level in more than four weeks yesterday as an upbeat U.S. consumer survey bolstered hopes of increased sales for Korean exporters in the world’s largest economy.

The Kospi closed up 0.8 percent at 2,045.77 points, its highest close since Oct. 30. It was the Kospi’s fifth straight session of gains. Foreign investors purchased a net 155.4 billion won ($146.46 million) worth of local shares, while institutions bought a net 262.6 billion won, their most since July 11, buttressing the main index.

Tech shares rallied on a heightened risk appetite, with Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics rising 1.6 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively.

Automaker Hyundai Motor fell 1 percent as the yen continued to weaken, raising concerns of a disadvantage in price competitiveness against its Japanese rivals in overseas markets. Hyundai’s affiliate, Kia Motors, fell 0.5 percent to 60,200 won, while Hyundai Mobis, the nation’s largest auto parts maker, slid 0.49 percent to 307,000 won.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction gained 0.81 percent to 62,400 won. The nation’s largest builder said yesterday it recently won a soil purification project from Singapore’s Jurong Town Corporation. Daewoo E&C rose 1.31 percent to 8,510 won and Samsung Engineering jumped 0.49 percent to 61,700 won.

Shipbuilders were on a downward slope. Hyundai Heavy Industries lost 0.37 percent to 271,500 won and Samsung Heavy Industries dipped 0.13 percent to 39,300 won. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering dived 0.14 percent to 36,800 won.

Hyundai Elevator, part of Hyundai Group, plunged 4.94 percent to 52,000 won after the company said in a regulatory filing that it plans to raise 217.5 billion won worth of capital. Although the company said that the purpose of the increase is to create a fund for its operation, industry observers believe that some of that money will be used to help its affiliate, Hyundai Merchant Marine.

The stocks of portals Naver and Daum soared after the Fair Trade Commission accepted their proposal to voluntarily fix unfair trade actions and help the industry. Naver rose 4.98 percent to 698,000 won, while Daum gained 2.66 percent to 84,800 won.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON, REUTERS [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]
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