Kospi index climbs on high 3rd-quarter hopes

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Kospi index climbs on high 3rd-quarter hopes

Seoul’s main stock market hit yet another record yesterday as investment sentiment brightened on record-breaking performances in the U.S. stock market and rising optimism over upcoming third-quarter earnings here.
The benchmark Kospi yesterday surged 26.99 points, or 1.3 percent, to close at 2,041.12, hitting a record high for two straight trading days after minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting showed Fed members avoided language that suggested the U.S. economy will contract.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 2.8 percent to close at 552,000 won ($602). SK Telecom, Korea’s largest wireless operator, jumped 8.6 percent on upbeat third-quarter forecasts and speculation it may take over Hanaro Telecom. SK Energy soared 5.8 percent, and Shinhan Financial Group added 1.6 percent. Lotte Shopping climbed 3.5 percent.
Shinsegae, which runs Korea’s largest discount chain, E-Mart, also rose 1.2 percent after it posted a better-than-expected third-quarter profit on Tuesday, triggering a flurry of investment rating upgrades by analysts.
“Shinsegae will be able to post double-digit growth in 2008 thanks to earnings improvements at its discount chain and normalized operations of its new department store branches,” said Ahn Ji-young of Prudential Investment & Securities.
Shares of Samsung Corporation surged 7.3 percent after the company announced it would buy a 14.2-percent stake in its sister company, Samsung Petrochemical, from British Petroleum for 19.2 billion won.
Trade volume was 364.1 million shares, worth 7.2 trillion won. Gainers led losers, 427 to 375.
The tech-laced Kosdaq rose 5.46 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 818.26. Trade volume was 639.3 million shares, worth 2.5 trillion won. Advancers outpaced decliners, 517 to 443.

By Jung Ha-won Staff Writer[hawon@joongang.co.kr]
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