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Bio and chemical shares buoy local market

July 13,2018
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Korean stocks closed higher on Thursday after tumbling in the previous session over an ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China. The Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 4.44 points, or 0.19 percent, to close at 2,285.06. Trade volume was moderate at 6 trillion won ($5.33 billion).


The local stock market opened slightly higher led by gains in large-cap bio and chemical shares and further extended gains in the late afternoon after the Bank of Korea froze the key rate for July.


Hints at possible U.S.-China talks after Trump’s tariff threats also boosted investor sentiment.


“The trade war has been continuously reflected in the market. It’s about time to focus more on earnings than the trade dispute,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.


Individuals bought a net 82 billion won worth of local stocks, while institutions dumped a net 84.7 billion won and foreign investors sold a net 14 billion won.


Top-cap Samsung Electronics retreated 1.09 percent to 45,500 won, and SK Hynix, a major chipmaker, was down 1.38 percent to close at 85,600 won.

Bio shares were bullish, with pharmaceutical company Celltrion jumping 4.16 percent to 288,000 won. Samsung BioLogics, Samsung’s pharmaceutical subsidiary, soared 3.37 percent to 429,000 won.

Leading chemical company LG Chem lost 0.77 percent to close at 323,500 won, and Lotte Chemical rose 3.43 percent to 346,500 won.

Auto shares also led the index with top carmaker Hyundai Motor gaining 1.23 percent to end at 123,000 won and smaller affiliate Kia Motors moving up 1.46 percent to close at 31,350 won.

Steelmaker Posco fell 0.32 percent to 311,000 won, and Naver, the country’s largest portal operator, was up 1.69 percent, ending at 782,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq index rose 14.51 points, or 1.80 percent, to 819.29, buoyed by bargain shopping by investors.

Institutions purchased a net 46 billion won while foreigners bought a net 67.1 billion won. Individuals sold a net 85.5 billion won.

Among winners, IT parts stocks gained 5.5 percent, while TV broadcast shares gained 3.3 percent.

The local currency closed at 1,125.90 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.9 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 3.6 basis points to 2.09 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds increased 3 basis points to 2.54 percent.


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