Korean markets higher following gains in U.S.

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Korean markets higher following gains in U.S.

Seoul markets ended higher yesterday following overnight gains in the U.S. market. The benchmark Kospi added 5.68 points, or 0.4 percent, rising to 1,448.53, its highest level since Feb. 27.
“Investor sentiment improved due to overnight rallies on Wall Street and the Federal Reserve’s decision on a rate freeze,” said Park Suk-hyun, an analyst at Kyobo Securities. “Tech gains such as Hynix Semiconductor helped send the key index higher.”
Technology shares were on the rise. Tech giant Samsung Electronics went up 0.5 percent to 582,000 won ($620.47). Hynix Semiconductor rose 2.7 percent on news that it will establish a joint company with the American chipmaker, SanDisk. Samsung SDI, the world’s third-largest maker of plasma displays, advanced 0.3 percent.
Posco, Korea’s No. 1 steelmaker, went up 1.7 percent and Hyundai Steel, the second-largest steelmaker, added 0.3 percent.
Credit card company LG Card plummeted 14.9 percent after Shinhan Financial Group completed the purchase of shares from small shareholders Monday. Shinhan announced last December that it would buy a 78.6 percent stake in the once-troubled card company.
Finance shares, however, were up. Shinhan Financial climbed 2.0 percent and Hana Financial Group gained 0.7 percent. Woori Finance Holdings rose 1.7 percent.
Doosan Heavy Industries, the largest power generator maker, jumped 5.9 percent after Merrill Lynch issued a “buy” recommendation on its shares.
Advancers led decliners 399 to 366. Trade volume was 293 million shares worth 3.4 trillion won.
The junior Kosdaq went up 1.95 points, or 0.3 percent, closing at 645.77. Gainers trailed losers 408 to 470.
Trade volume was 722.7 million shares valued at 2.1 trillion won.

By Wohn Dong-hee Staff Writer [wohn@joongang.co.kr]
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