5-session bull run ends, investors pocket profit

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5-session bull run ends, investors pocket profit

Korea’s main stock market index paused for a breath yesterday, ending a five-session winning streak that helped the benchmark Kospi reach its highest level in more than a month.
The Kospi declined 1.37 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 1,482.04, on heavy profit-taking by local individual and institutional investors.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics, Korea’s largest listed firm by value, lost 0.3 percent to end at 593,000 won ($635). Other technology shares also slipped. SK Telecom, Korea’s largest wireless operator, tumbled 0.3 percent and LG Electronics lost 0.9 percent.
Banking shares got roughed up. Kookmin Bank, Korea’s largest lender, shed 1.6 percent and the nation’s No. 2 lender, Shinhan Financial Group, lost 2.1 percent. Woori Finance Holdings declined 0.9 percent and Hana Financial Group inched back 0.5 percent.
But Korea Exchange Bank, Korea’s fifth-largest lender, rose 0.7 percent on anticipation it would soon establish a locally incorporated bank in China.
The breakthrough decision earlier this week to sign a Korea-U.S. free trade agreement provided a boost to local pharmaceutical shares as local drug prices are expected to rise when the trade pact takes effect. Choong Wae Pharma surged 2.9 percent and Yuhan, a drug firm, climbed 1.8 percent.
Trading volume was 323.5 million shares, worth 3.2 trillion won. Decliners led advancers, 379 to 374.
The Kosdaq rose 3.17 points, or 0.5 percent, to end at 663.98.
Seoul Semiconductors soared 12.1 percent after a Dutch investment company, Fortis Obam, announced that it bought a 5.6-percent stake in the firm.
Trading volume was 892.8 million shares, worth 2.4 trillion won.
Gainers beat losers, 510 to 407. Trading volume was 892.8 million shares, worth 2.4 trillion won.

By Jung Ha-won Staff Writer [hawon@joongang.co.kr]
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