Samsung, Hyundai rise as steel shares weaken

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Samsung, Hyundai rise as steel shares weaken

The main Seoul stock market rose yesterday on strong purchases by foreign and institutional investors. Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Heavy Industries led the gain. The Kospi rose 2.39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,449.77.
Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of computer memory chips, rose 0.9 percent to close at 585,000 won ($623). Other technology shares were mixed. SK Telecom, Korea’s largest wireless operator, climbed 0.8 percent, and Hynix Semiconductor rose 0.8 percent. But LG.Philips LCD and LG Electronics declined by 2.1 and 1.2 percent, respectively.
Non-steel metal shares were strong as declining steel prices in China made steel less attractive, prompting investors to turn their eyes to alternatives including copper and zinc.
Korea Zinc surged 5.4 percent and Poongsan, a manufacturer of copper products, gained 6.9 percent.
“The recent pattern of strengthening steel shares and weakening of non-steel metal shares is likely to change soon,” said Daewoo Securities. “Global non-steel metal prices are rebounding fast and public interest in the firms’ profit stability will rise.”
Shares of Posco, Korea’s largest steel producer, slid 1.8 percent after Arcelor Mittal, the world’s top steelmaker, rejected media speculation that it plans to take over Posco, according to Bloomberg.
Advancers beat decliners 429 to 326. Volume was 306.8 million shares worth 3 trillion won.
The tech-heavy Kosdaq inched down 0.01 points to close at 640.88.
Mega Study, an online study aid provider for pre-college students, rose 2.4 percent as analysts bet the firm would post a record first-quarter profit on rising demand for study aids for middle school students.
Advancers beat decliners, 452 to 451. Volume was 651.4 million shares worth 1.8 trillion won.

By Jung Ha-won Staff Writer []
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