Seoul stocks get a boost from tech shares gains

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Seoul stocks get a boost from tech shares gains

Korean stocks closed higher Thursday on strong gains in tech shares. The won depreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 12.47 points, or 0.59 percent, to close at 2,134.32. Trade volume was moderate at 637 million shares worth 5 trillion won ($4.3 billion).


Investors are paying keen attention to a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, expected to take place on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G-20) summit on Saturday.

In Seoul, the Kospi opened flat but moved upward later.

Individuals sold a net 460.1 billion won worth of shares and foreign investors bought a net 155.8 billion won worth. Institutions bought a net 267.4 billion won of stocks.

“It was positive for the market that there were some good signs for a U.S.-China trade deal ahead of the G-20 summit,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. “Improved sentiment in the semiconductor sector also helped push the market upward.”

Tech shares led the gains, with Samsung Electronics rising 1.75 percent to finish at 46,500 won and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix gaining 1.89 percent to 70,200 won. Posco rose 0.62 percent to 244,500 won.

Chemical stocks finished strong. LG Chem inched up 0.58 percent to 349,500 won, while its smaller rival Lotte Chemical advanced 1.17 percent to 258,500 won.

Auto stocks ended mixed, with Hyundai Motor sliding 0.71 percent to end at 140,500 won. Kia Motors increased 0.46 percent to 43,850 won, while Hyundai Mobis gained 1.07 percent to 235,500 won.

Shares of mobile carriers were among the losers with SK Telecom shedding 0.58 percent to 257,500 won and rival KT falling 0.35 percent to 28,100 won.

Pharmaceutical firms were also among the losers, with top player Celltrion plunging 3.09 percent to 204,000 won and Hanmi Pharmaceutical dipping 1.44 percent to end at 411,000 won.

The Kosdaq fell 11.16 points, or 1.57 percent, to end the session at 698.21.

The tech-heavy index was dragged down by foreign selling of shares due to the uncertainty on whether a domestic bio-related company would succeed in clinical testing.

The won closed at 1,158.1 won against the dollar, up 1.5 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on three-year bonds fell 0.2 basis points to 1.49 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds rose 1.1 basis points to 1.62 percent.

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