Another Kospi record, but Samsung is sinkingSeoul’s main stock market reached a new high yet again yesterday. The Kospi closed at 1,661.8, up 3.89 points, or 0.2 percent.
Shipping led the gain. Hyundai Merchant Marine, Korea’s second largest shipping line, soared by the daily limit of 15 percent yesterday. Hanjin Shipping, the top player, surged 6.9 percent.
“The Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines’ container freight rates, which are used as a benchmark for international shipping charges, rose sharply in April over March, suggesting that rates are emerging from a long-term downward trend,” said Ryu Je-hyun at Mirae Asset Securities in a report.
Rumors of a hostile takeover also helped Hyundai Merchant, analysts said. The company plans to buy back 100 billion won ($110 million) of its shares in the year started April 30, apparently as part of Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun's attempts to erect defenses against aggressive moves by Hyundai Heavy Industries.
Banks were strong, with Kookmin Bank and Shinhan Financial Group adding 0.7 percent each.
LG.Philips LCD Co. gained 2 percent, after CJ Investment & Securities said earnings will improve in the second quarter on rising panel prices.
On the other hand, major chipmakers tumbled, after technology-industry researcher iSuppli Corp. said global sales of dynamic random access memory will slow.
Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest memory chipmaker, lost 2 percent, ending at 537,000 won ($578.85), its lowest in a year. The second-ranked Hynix Semiconductor declined 2.4 percent.
Volume was 491.2 million shares worth 5.6 trillion. Gainers outnumbered losers 445 to 343.
The secondary Kosdaq index rose for the fifth trade session, closing at 734.82, up 5.66 points, or 0.8 percent. Volume was 643.9 million shares worth 2.1 trillion won. Declining shares led advancers 490 to 434.
By Moon So-young Staff Writer [firstname.lastname@example.org]