Market is up for third day on China stimulus

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Market is up for third day on China stimulus

Stocks ended higher for a third straight session Thursday as investor sentiment improved, once more buoyed by China’s stimulus measures to support growth amid the spreading coronavirus. The won rose against the dollar.

The Kospi added 62.31 points, or 2.88 percent, to reach 2,227.94. Trade volume was heavy at 683 million shares worth 8.06 trillion won ($6.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 733 to 130.


Investors took a positive cue from China’s plan to cut value-added taxes and offer low-interest loans to help businesses reeling from the coronavirus outbreak. Markets were also helped by strong U.S. jobs data in January, analysts said.

“On top of that, risk sentiment eased further in the afternoon on reports that China will halve tariffs on some $75 billion worth of imports from the United States this month,” NH Investment & Securities analyst Noh Dong-kil said by phone.

The cut will be effective on Feb. 14 when the United States will also implement a reduction in tariffs on Chinese products as part of the phase-one trade deal that was signed last month.

Institutions and foreigners bought a combined 668 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting individuals’ net selling valued at 689 billion won.

Since the virus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the epidemic has killed at least 563 and infected more than 20,000 people in China as of Thursday. It has reached two dozen countries, including the United States.

Korea had reported 23 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Thursday evening.

Most large-cap stocks advanced across the board.

Samsung Electronics jumped 2.7 percent to 61,100 won, chipmaker SK hynix climbed 2.9 percent to 100,500 won, steelmaker Posco gained 4.4 percent to 224,000 won and carrier Korean Air Lines improved 3.9 percent to 27,000 won.

Among losers, Hanjin KAL, the holding company of Hanjin Group, fell 0.7 percent to 41,500 won and GS Retail declined 2.1 percent to 39,950 won.

The local currency closed at 1,179.80 won to the dollar, down 11.70 won from the previous session’s close.

The secondary Kosdaq was up 11.37 points, or 1.72 percent, to close at 672.69.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year bond rose 0.9 basis points to 1.315 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bond declined 1.65 basis points to reach 5.1 percent.

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