Shipbuilders float Kospi to another record closeAnother day, another record for Seoul’s main stock market. This time shipbuilders pushed the market up, its second consecutive day in positive territory. The Kospi closed at 1,599.68, a gain of 6.26 points, or 0.4 percent. The benchmark index soared to 1,616 points at one point in the afternoon, but program-based selling sent the index just below the 1,600-point level.
“Rallies in other Asian stock markets and in the United States boosted investor sentiment,” said Kim Young-gak, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.
After the U.S. Federal Reserve Board decided on Wednesday to keep its interest rate unchanged, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.4 percent to a new record.
And the Bank of Korea’s decision yesterday to maintain its key rate at 4.5 percent also helped Seoul stocks advance, analysts said. Shipbuilders got a boost after Citigroup lifted its price targets for them, citing strong earnings and a positive industry outlook.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s biggest shipbuilder, rose 3.6 percent to 291,500 won ($315) and its smaller affiliate Hyundai Mipo Dockyard jumped 5 percent. Samsung Heavy Industries added 1.5 percent and Daewoo Shipbuilding advanced 3.6 percent.
Posco, the world’s fourth-biggest steelmaker, gained 3.7 percent, rising to a record 425,000 won. Dongkuk Steel Mill added 0.7 percent.
On the other hand, technology blue chips were weak. Samsung Electronics fell 0.9 percent. Hynix Semiconductor and LG.Philips LCD each lost 1.7 percent.
Trade volume was 403 million shares, valued at 5.5 trillion won. Advancers led decliners, 443 to 331.
The secondary Kosdaq market gained 2.94 points, or 0.4 percent, closing at 704.44. NHN, which operates the nation’s biggest Internet portal, climbed 0.1 percent, after improved first-quarter earnings. Losers outnumbered gainers, 492 to 402.
By Moon So-young Staff Writer [email@example.com]