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Foreigner shopping spree gives Kospi a boost

Aug 23,2018
Korea’s main bourse ended higher Wednesday as foreigners continued to buy local stocks ahead of trade talks between the United States and China later this week. The won depreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 3.27 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 2,273.33, ending in positive terrain for the fourth session in a row. Trading volume was light at 5.0 trillion won ($4.5 billion).

Institutional investors sold a net 421.1 billion won worth of stocks. Foreigners bought a net 208.3 billion won and individuals purchased a net 137.8 billion won in shares to offset the selling.

“Foreign investors bought local stocks on expectations that the U.S. and China may come up with solutions to their ongoing trade war,” said Kiwoom Securities analyst Suh Sang-young. “The main index will move depending on the results of the talks.”

Tech and auto stocks led gains, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics rising 2.90 percent to 46,100 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix climbed 1.79 percent to 79,800 won and top carmaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.40 percent to 126,000 won.

Among decliners, leading steelmaker Posco fell 0.61 percent to 324,000 won and No. 1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis shed 0.65 percent to 229,500 won. Leading refiner SK Innovation was down 1.77 percent to 194,000 won.

Chemicals also closed lower. LG Chem fell 2.61 percent to 354,500 won and Lotte Chemical dropped 4.98 percent to 315,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 1.20 points, or 0.15 percent, to 785.95. The tech and bio-heavy index closed lower from large institutional selling despite a 0.49 percent incline in the U.S. Nasdaq.

Broadcast shares were losers. Entertainment and media conglomerate CJ ENM fell 1.44 percent to 239,300 while GS Home Shopping dropped 1.20 percent to 197,600 won.

Pharmaceutical companies also lost, with major bio firm SillaJen falling 1.43 percent to 62,000 won and rival Medytox declining 2.53 percent to 620,600. Kosdaq No. 1 Celltrion Healthcare made a small gain of 0.21 percent to close at 94,000 won.

The Korean won closed at 1,118.90 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.50 won from the previous trading session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 4.3 basis points to 1.96 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds climbed 2.1 basis points to 2.40 percent.

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