04.20 Sat


Kospi inches up as foreigners scoop up shares

Aug 09,2018
Korea’s main bourse closed slightly higher Wednesday as foreign investors scooped up large-cap shares, offsetting a massive selling spree by institutions amid eased tensions over trade friction. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi inched up 1.29 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,301.45. Trade volume was moderate at 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion).

Foreigners bought a net 358 billion won worth of shares on the main exchange, while individual investors offloaded a net 125 billion won and institutions sold a net 116 billion won.

The main bourse initially opened a tad lower but soon turned to positive terrain on foreign buying, which tracked overnight advances on Wall Street. U.S. markets posted solid gains on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.5 percent, the S&P 500 adding 0.28 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gaining 0.31 percent.

“U.S. and Chinese stocks both gained ground amid hopes of eased tensions over trade friction, and this has positively affected the main bourse,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Most large-cap stocks had a mixed day of trading, with banking and bio shares leading the gains.

Top cap Samsung Electronics ended at 46,800 won, up 0.21 percent from the previous session’s close, to continue a four-day winning streak. Earlier in the day, the tech giant announced that it plans to invest 180 trillion won over the next three years to drive domestic growth, in an apparent response to the government’s request to expand investment and employment.

Its smaller rival LG Electronics added 1.07 percent to 75,900 won. Chipmaker SK Hynix lost 1.12 percent to 79,800 won.

Shares of biopharmaceutical companies gained ground, with Samsung BioLogics, Samsung’s biopharmaceutical affiliate, jumping 7.08 percent to end at 454,000 won. Celltrion was up 0.55 percent at 276,000 won.

Banks also won. Shinhan Financial Group grew 1.76 percent to 43,400 won, while Hana Financial Group climbed 1.37 percent to 44,450 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 0.89 points, or 0.11 percent, to 783.81. The tech-heavy index was dragged down by large institutional and foreign selling.

The Korean won closed at 1,119.9 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.9 won from Tuesday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended mixed. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.2 basis points to 2.07 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds remained unchanged at 2.56 percent.

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