Q4 earnings reports give Seoul stocks a boost
The benchmark Kospi jumped 17.25 points, or 0.81 percent, to finish at 2,145.03. Trading volume was moderate at 407.78 million shares worth 5.94 trillion won ($5.26 billion).
Foreign investors bought a net 495.8 billion won worth of stocks. Institutional investors sold a net 318.8 billion won worth of shares, and individuals sold a net 175 billion won of stocks.
“The solid earnings reports by major companies lifted investor sentiment, helped by reports that the government is considering tax breaks on securities trades,” Yoon Jung-seon, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities, said.
“Strong U.S. earnings also boosted the appetite for riskier assets, but uncertainties surrounding the U.S. government shutdown and Brexit remain.”
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics surged 2.50 percent to 43,050 won, snapping a two-day losing streak.
SK Hynix, the world’s No. 2 chipmaker, soared 5.54 percent to 70,500 won, reaching this year’s high.
Financial companies advanced on news the government is considering scrapping the securities transaction tax to boost the tepid stock market.
MiraeAsset Daewo jumped 4.76 percent to 7,490 won, and its smaller rival NH Investment & Securities climbed 2.60 percent to 13,800 won.
Bio shares also rose, with Samsung BioLogics, Samsung’s health care unit, increasing 0.63 percent to 401,500 won and pharmaceutical giant Celltrion advancing 4 percent to 208,000 won.
No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor edged up 0.78 percent to 130,000 won and Kia Motors rose 0.27 percent to 36,650 won as well.
In contrast, mobile carriers ended mixed.
No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom rose 0.74 percent to 271,000 won, and its smaller rival KT fell 0.68 percent to 29,200 won. LG U+ dropped 1.46 percent to 16,850 won.
The Kosdaq rose 8.78 points, or 1.26 percent, to end the session at 704.41. The tech and bio-heavy index was lifted by foreign buying of shares. The U.S. Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.9-percent on Wednesday.
The Korean won closed at 1,128.60 won against the dollar, up 1.30 won from the previous session.
Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 0.7 basis points to 1.81 percent. The return on 10-year bonds rose 0.9 basis points to 1.99 percent.
BY KIM HEYU, YONHAP [email@example.com]