+ A

Bargain hunters lift Korean stocks after drop

Jan 30,2020
Stocks bounced back Wednesday, one day after dropping at the steepest rate in more than a year, as investors searched for bargains. The won again lost ground against the dollar.

The Kospi rose 8.56 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 2,185.28. Trade volume was moderate at 681 million shares, worth 6.4 trillion won ($5.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 516 to 305.

After the Korean market was closed for two sessions during the Lunar New Year’s holiday, investors appeared rattled by a fast-spreading virus on Tuesday, with the key stock index plunging by more than 3 percent.

Korea on Monday reported its fourth confirmed Wuhan coronavirus case. Concerns are growing that the pneumonia-like illness is spreading fast despite concerted quarantine efforts.

No new cases have been reported here since.

Foreign investors purchased a net 100 billion won worth of stocks, and retail investors also bought a net 373 billion won. Institutions, on the other hand, offloaded a net 498 billion won.

Samsung Electronics moved up 0.51 percent to 59,100 won, and chipmaker SK Hynix climbed 1.66 percent to 97,900 won. Home appliances maker LG Electronics rose 0.15 percent to 67,200 won.

Cosmetics makers mostly closed higher, with LG Household & Health Care increasing 3.43 percent to 1,296,000 won, and cosmetics maker Amorepacific rising 4.11 percent to 202,500 won.

Monalisa, a mask producer, decreased 8.53 percent to 7,400 won, despite demand for hygiene products running high.

Pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics moved down 0.61 percent to 491,000 won, while Celltrion rose 0.29 percent to 171,000 won.

Online portal operator Naver advanced 0.84 percent to 180,000 won. Rival company Kakao climbed 0.62 percent to 163,500 won.

Steelmakers also closed bullish, with Posco increasing 0.22 percent to 226,500 won and Korea Zinc rising 0.38 percent to 396,500 won. Hyundai Steel moved up 1.79 percent to 28,450 won.

The local currency closed at 1,177.20 to the dollar, up 0.50 won from the previous session’s close.

The secondary Kosdaq was up 5.48 points, or 0.82 percent, to close at 670.18.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds shed 2.0 basis points to stand at 1.333 percent, while the benchmark 10-year government bond moved up 4.8 basis points to reach 1.65 percent.

BY KIM YEON-AH, YONHAP [kim.yeonah@joongang.co.kr]