Speculation on key rate in Japan as Kospi gainsKorean stocks returned from the long holiday weekend on a high note, as the main index extended its winning streak to five sessions on expectations for a rate hike in Japan.
The benchmark Kospi rose 4.15 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 1,452.96.
“Export-focused shares like Hyundai Motor gained ground on speculation that Japan’s central bank will likely raise its key rate [today],” said Kim Young-gak, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.
A rate hike usually leads to a stronger yen, which will help Korean exporters like Samsung Electronics, he added.
Blue chips were mixed, although top shares did enjoy a strong day. Samsung Electronics advanced 1.7 percent to 600,000 won ($639) on foreign buying while Hynix Semiconductor, the world’s second-largest computer memory chipmaker, climbed 0.6 percent.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 1.4 percent, although it denied a report that it has an interest in buying Chrysler, the U.S. arm of automotive maker DaimlerChrysler. No. 2 carmaker and Hyundai affiliate Kia Motors surged 3.5 percent.
Korea’s largest steelmaker, Posco, gained 2.4 percent on foreign buying after global credit appraiser Standard & Poor’s raised the company’s debt rating to “A” from “A-” on its improved finances.
Securities shares also benefited from foreign buying. Daewoo Securities gained 1.9 percent and Woori Investment and Securities rose 3.3 percent.
Traded volume was 215.4 million shares worth 2.4 trillion won. Advancers beat out decliners 380 to 375.
The secondary Kosdaq gained 2.41 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 607.48.
Traded volume was 523.1 million shares for 1.6 trillion won. Advancers outnumbered decliners 499 to 388.
By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Writer [email@example.com]