Kospi raises hopes with continuing climb

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Kospi raises hopes with continuing climb

The benchmark Kospi rose for the second consecutive trading day, raising hopes for another rally. The Kospi index finished at 2,120.33 points, up 0.29 percent or 6.17 points from the previous trading day. This year, the stock market has been on an upswing thanks to liquidity created by loose monetary policy.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics, ranked No. 7 among “The World’s Most Valuable Brands” by Forbes, nudged up 0.53 percent to 1,340,000 won ($1,228). Second-largest share Hyundai Motor dropped 1.2 percent to 164,000 won. Leading chipmaker and No. 3 by market cap SK Hynix advanced 0.66 percent to 45,550 won.

Top cosmetics maker Amore Pacific surprised investors with a better-than-ever earnings report, but its share nonetheless dropped 0.51 percent, ending the session at 387,000 won. Retail giant Shinsegae Group jumped 9.35 percent to 251,500 won, drawing up other retailers as experts saw that consumer sentiment improved.

Sovereign bonds rose. The yield on the notes due September 2024 rose five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 2.5 percent, Korea Exchange prices showed. The three-year yield declined one basis point to 1.86 percent.

The won strengthened the most since March, leading gains in Asian currencies, before the central bank reviews on monetary policy and as the dollar fell. The won fell 0.9 percent to 1,090.5 a dollar as of the 3 p.m. close in Seoul.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) is expected to refrain from cutting its benchmark rate for a second month today according to 16 of 19 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, while three predict a quarter point cut to a record 1.5 percent. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the greenback versus 10 major peers, fell for a third day after reaching a four-month low on Wednesday amid concern the Federal Reserve will delay increasing interest rates after a report showed U.S. retail sales changed by little in April.

“Adjustments in dollar-buying positions seem to have occurred before the BOK policy meeting,” said Kim Dong-wook, a currency trader at KB Kookmin Bank. “As Asian currencies advanced against the dollar, dollar sales by local exporters helped boost the won.”

BY KIM HYUN-MIN, BLOOMBERG [kim.hyunmin@joongang.co.kr]
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