Stocks up in January on net foreign buying

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Stocks up in January on net foreign buying

Foreign investors bought a net 4.05 trillion won ($3.62 billion) worth of Kospi shares in January, the highest monthly total in 45 months.

According to the Korea Exchange (KRX), the total is the largest since April 2015, when overseas investors purchased just under 4.65 trillion won in shares traded on the market.

In the first month of this year, retail investors offloaded around 3.23 trillion won in shares, with institutions selling 843.1 billion won in stocks more than they bought.

“Reflecting the strong buying by foreign investors, who are big hands in the market, the overall Kospi rose 8.03 percent last month,” a KRX source said. “The index hit 2,203.46 as of last Friday, which is roughly on par with the average reading in October 2018.”

By company, foreign investors bought a large amount of shares issued by Samsung Electronics, while offloading SK Hynix.

Those two companies made up some 78 percent of all shares bought and sold by foreigners last month.

In addition, foreigners bought Korea Electric Power, Samsung SDI, LG Chem and SK shares.

Market watchers said that focus is now on how long the net buying by foreign investors will continue.

A report by NH Investment & Securities predicted the Kospi will move within the 2,080-2,250 range in the near future. Market conditions are expected to improve.

This prediction was shared by Mirae Asset Daewoo, which said while profit-taking may weigh down the index, conditions should improve from the second quarter.

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