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Summit in Pyongyang buoys markets in Seoul

Sept 19,2018
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Korean stocks closed higher Tuesday, buoyed by positive investor sentiment stemming from the inter-Korean summit despite fresh U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi added 5.97 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,308.98. Trade volume was moderate at 5.52 trillion won ($4.91 billion).

The market opened lower tracking Wall Street losses, as President Donald Trump ramped up pressure against China by ordering the imposition of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

But the index paired earlier losses to land in positive terrain, as investors were encouraged by the three-day meeting between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that kicked off on Tuesday. Institutions picked up 99 billion won worth of local shares, while foreign investors offloaded 82 billion won and retailers shed 47 billion won.

Blue-chip shares traded bullish, with tech and bio shares leading the upturn.

Samsung Electronics advanced 0.78 percent to close at 45,500 won, and SK Hynix, a global chipmaker, soared 1.04 percent to 78,000 won.

Steelmaker Posco increased 1.19 percent to 296,500 won, and LG Chem jumped 3.67 percent to 367,000 won.

Top-cap bio shares were mixed, with Samsung BioLogics surging 4.32 percent to 507,000 won and Celltrion moving down 0.66 percent to 300,500 won.

Major shares related to inter-Korean economic cooperation projects lost ground on profit taking from their recent rally.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction fell 2.47 percent to 67,000 won, and Hyundai Rotem skidded 2.37 percent to 30,850 won.

Korea Zinc rose 0.49 percent to 409,000 won, while Hyundai Steel climbed 1.68 percent to 54,600 won, however.

The secondary Kosdaq climbed 2.97 points, or 0.36 percent, to 831.85. The tech and bio-heavy index rose on strong biopharmaceutical shares from foreign and institutional buying despite a 1.4 percent decline in the U.S. Nasdaq biotech index.

Most major pharmaceutical shares won. SillaJen climbed 1.49 percent to 95,300 won, while Viromed gained 0.70 percent to 243,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,123.20 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.4 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds gained 1.3 basis points to 1.98 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds increased 2.1 basis points to 2.34 percent.


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