Kospi rises for first time in three trading days

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Kospi rises for first time in three trading days


Korea’s main stock index ended higher Friday for the first time in three sessions as institutions bought shares amid concerns of a full-fledged U.S.-China trade war and Samsung announcing lower-than-estimated second-quarter profits. The Korean won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 15.32 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,272.87. Trade volume was light at 6.28 trillion won ($5.6 billion).

Institutional investors bought a net 459 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting net selling of other investors. Foreigners sold a net 381 billion won in shares while individuals sold a net 103.4 billion won.

“Foreigners offloaded local stocks to reorganize their portfolios as the U.S. and China may announce heavy import tariffs on each other’s products later this week,” said Jeon Min-chan, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

Beijing and Washington are Seoul’s largest and second-largest export markets respectively.

Auto and steel stocks were winners, with top carmaker Hyundai Motor rising 1.65 percent to 123,500 won and leading steelmaker Posco climbing 1.13 percent to 312,500 won.

Bank shares also won. KB Financial Group gained 2.85 percent to 54,200 won and Shinhan Financial Group climbed 2.33 percent to 43,900 won.

But market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 2.29 percent to 44,900 won, and state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corporation declined 0.47 percent to 31,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq climbed 14.84 points, or 1.87 percent, to 808.89. The tech-heavy index was also buoyed by institutional buying.

Institutions purchased a net 83.3 billion won. Foreigners sold a net 65.6 billion won while individuals offloaded a net 18.1 billion won.

IT shares led the gains, rising 5.4 percent across sector. Nanos, an electronic components maker that manufactures mobile camera modules and optical filters, spiked 29.81 percent to 6,270 won after four sessions of decline as investors went bargain hunting.

GS Home Shopping, a local TV home shopping company, also added 7.46 percent to 188,600 won, ending higher for the fourth session in a row.

The Korean currency closed at 1,115.90 won against the U.S. dollar, down 2.70 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 0.8 basis points to 2.10 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds climbed 1.0 basis points to 2.56 percent.

BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]
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