Stocks gain after signing of China trade deal

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Stocks gain after signing of China trade deal

Stocks ended higher on Thursday as investors scooped up major tech shares, buoyed by the signing of a preliminary U.S.-China trade deal. The won lost ground against the dollar.

After a choppy session, the Kospi gained 17.07 points, or 0.77 percent, to close at 2,248.05. Trade volume was moderate at 796 million shares worth 6 trillion won ($5.2 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 437 to 374.

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Foreigners and institutions offloaded a net 36.8 billion won and 198.8 billion won, respectively. Meanwhile, individuals scooped up a net 223.5 billion won.

The market initially opened lower as the “phase one” trade deal between the world’s two largest economies failed to completely soothe investor concerns over uncertainties.

The Kospi, however, soon turned bullish as major tech shares, including Samsung Electronics, made gains.

“There are still some uncertainties surrounding additional trade negotiations, but expectations are high that a tariff war will eventually be eased in phases,” said Kim Yoon-bo, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

In Seoul, most large-cap shares ended higher.

Samsung Electronics gained 2.88 percent to end at an all-time high of 60,700 won, and chipmaker SK Hynix added 1.02 percent to close at 99,200 won.

Bio shares were also bullish. Pharmaceutical firm Celltrion was up 2.27 percent, hitting 180,500 won on news that it may possibly merge with two affiliates. Samsung BioLogics, a bio affiliate of Samsung Group, added 0.46 percent to end at 436,500 won.

Automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 3.04 percent to 118,500 won, after receiving some positive reviews for the first SUV under its premium Genesis brand, the GV80.

Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis was up 1.84 percent at 249,500 won, while Kia Motors was 0.12 percent down at 41,150 won.

Telecommunication shares were in negative terrain. KT lost 0.19 percent to close at 26,150 won. SK Telecom, a mobile unit of SK Group, shed 0.63 percent to close at 236,000 won. LG U+ also lost 0.38 percent to end at 13,050 won.

The local currency closed at 1,161.1 to the U.S. greenback, up 4.1 won from the previous session’s close.

The Kosdaq was up 7.36 points, or 1.08 percent, to close at 686.52.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds added 3.5 basis points to stand at 1.426 percent, while the return on the benchmark 10-year government bond shed 2.8 basis points to reach 1.78 percent.

BY KANG JAE EUN, YONHAP [kang.jaeeun@joongang.co.kr]
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