Kospi hits a record high as steel, financials climb

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Kospi hits a record high as steel, financials climb

Korea’s main bourse reached a record high yesterday as investors picked up steel and financial shares. The Kospi rose 14.03 points, or 1 percent, to 1,465.41.
“Steel and financial gains gave a boost to the local bourse, while tech blue chips like Samsung Electronics turned negative in late trading,” said Kim Young-gak at Hyundai Securities. He forecast that the main index could reach 1,500 points, since the market seems to be recovering momentum.
Despite the record-setting day, blue chips were decidedly mixed. Tech giant Samsung Electronics slipped 0.7 percent to 602,000 won ($641), and Hynix Semiconductor lost 0.6 percent.
But steel shares gained ground. Top steelmaker Posco rose 2.7 percent on takeover expectations and a steel price hike. Dong Kuk Steel Mill gained 1.6 percent.
Financial shares were also positive, bolstered by foreign buying. Top lender Kookmin Bank was up 2 percent; No. 2 Shinhan Financial Group gained 3.4 percent. Woori Financial Group gained 2.8 percent, and Korea Exchange Bank nudged up 0.7 percent.
Shipbuilding shares were also in demand, despite a London-based study showing Korean shipbuilders were outpaced by Chinese in new orders in January.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipyard, rose 3.9 percent, Samsung Heavy Industries gained 3.5 percent, and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering rose 3.6 percent.
Ssangyong Motor, the nation’s smallest carmaker, jumped 5.7 percent after a local brokerage issued a buy recommendation for its shares. But top automaker Hyundai Motor shed 0.8 percent and its affiliate Kia Motors lost 1.9 percent.
Volume was 304 million shares worth 3.6 trillion won. Advancers pounded decliners 473 to 281.
The Kosdaq gained 2.25 points, or 0.4 percent, to 610.41. Volume was 616.9 million shares worth 1.9 trillion won. Winners beat losers 484 to 416.

By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Writer [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]
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