Fed plan to increase rate buoys Seoul stocks

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Fed plan to increase rate buoys Seoul stocks


Korean shares advanced Monday as investor confidence was boosted by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s plan to gradually increase its key rate. The Korean won appreciated against the greenback.

The benchmark Kospi rose 6.09 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 2,299.30, ending higher for the seventh consecutive session. Trading volume was moderate at 5.66 trillion won ($5.08 billion).

Analysts said Seoul shares closed higher following last week’s gain on Wall Street, which responded positively to the Federal Reserve’s plan to gradually increase the key rate.

“Fed Chair Jerome Powell expressed confidence over the economy,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, “and announced that he will seek a gradual increase of the key rate. Accordingly, the global market gained ground on Friday,”

“Recovered global appetite for riskier assets positively influenced the Korean market,” he added.

Foreigners bought more shares than they sold at net 235 billion won, while retail investors offloaded a net 242 billion won. Institutions sold a net 41.4 billion won.

Tech shares gained ground, with Samsung Electronics moving up 0.33 percent to 46,300 won and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix increasing 2.08 percent to 83,500 won. LG Display, on the other hand, shed 1.4 percent to 21,150 won.

Samsung SDI rose 4.02 percent at 233,000 won amid the market’s outlook that the company is anticipated to post strong earnings for the third quarter.

LG Chem moved up 1.64 percent to 372,000 won, while Amorepacific remained unchanged at 269,500 won.

Carmakers traded mixed, with Hyundai Motor falling 0.4 percent to 124,000 won and its sister company Kia Motors edging up 0.8 percent to 31,500 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis moved down 0.86 percent to 230,000 won.

Builders lost ground. Hyundai Engineering & Construction plunged 5.32 percent to 60,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq climbed 2.81 points, or 0.35 percent, to 801.04. The tech- and bio-heavy index was buoyed by a 0.9 percent incline in the U.S. Nasdaq as well as strong pharmaceutical shares from institutional and foreign buying.

The Korean won closed at 1,113.80 won against the U.S. dollar, down a solid 5.10 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on three-year bonds remained unchanged at 1.96 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds lost 1.0 basis point to 2.37 percent.

BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]
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