$800 billion Fed package inspires Kospi

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$800 billion Fed package inspires Kospi

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The benchmark Kospi, along with most Asian markets, rose sharply yesterday. [NEWSIS]


Korean stocks ended 4.72 percent higher yesterday as investors snapped up beaten-down financial shares on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rescue plan, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi climbed 46.46 points to 1,029.78. Volume was moderate at 508 million shares worth 5.07 trillion won ($3.4 billion). Gainers outnumbered losers 651 to 189.

“A series of news like a lifeline for Citigroup and the Fed’s fresh rescue plan generally lifted investor sentiment,” said Lee Kyoung-su, an analyst at Taurus Investment and Securities.

Foreign investors snapped up a net 121.7 billion won worth of local stocks on the Seoul bourse, becoming net buyers for the first time in four sessions. The Fed unveiled an $800 billion plan on Tuesday to buy mortgage-backed assets and help boost lending for consumers. Financial shares, led by bank and securities issues, were powered up by the Fed’s plan. Analysts also said the bank gain came as the country’s top financial regulator said that now is not the time for the government to pour public funds into local banks, as the difficulties they face do not warrant an overhaul.

Woori Finance Holdings, the country’s top financial services firm, jumped the daily limit of 15 percent to 5,930 won and KB Financial Group also soared 15 percent to 27,600 won. Leading brokerage Daewoo Securities gained 14.89 percent to 9,570 won. But No. 2 shipping line Hyundai Merchant Marine lost 1.29 percent to 34,400 won after North Korea said on Monday that starting next week, it will suspend a cross-border train service and selectively expel South Koreans working at a joint industrial complex in the city of Kaesong. Yonhap
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