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Thursday’s woes end as Seoul stocks rebound

Oct 13,2018
Korean stocks rebounded Friday from a more than 4 percent plunge the previous day as investor sentiment recovered from eased U.S.-China trade woes. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi jumped 32.18 points, or 1.51 percent, to close at 2,161.85, marking the first positive finish in nine trading sessions.

Korea’s main bourse lost nearly 100 points on Thursday, the largest daily drop since Sept. 23, 2011, when the index lost 103.11 points or 5.73 percent.

Trading volume was light at 288.6 million shares worth 5.97 trillion won ($5.28 billion).

“We had good news from Washington like a weaker U.S. dollar and some peaceful gestures from the U.S. government,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst from Kiwoon Securities. “The Chinese stock market also rebounded as China’s September exports beat market expectations.”

Kospi started a little lower earlier in the day, but soon turned around after media reports that the U.S. Treasury Department will not place China on its currency manipulator list to be released next week.

Large-cap shares led the rebound, with market giant Samsung Electronics rising 2.09 percent to 44,000 won and runner-up SK Hynix jumping 4.93 percent to 72,400 won.

Samsung’s bio-pharmaceutical unit Samsung BioLogics rose 1.61 percent to 474,500 won and Celltrion gained 1.10 percent to close at 274,500 won.

Top steelmaker Posco rose 3.11 percent to 265,000 won, and Dongkuk Steel Mill added 1.05 percent to 7,710 won.

Shipbuilders were also bullish, with Hyundai Heavy Industries increasing 0.78 percent to 128,500 won and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering gaining 1.67 percent to 33,450 won.

Naver climbed 0.71 percent to 142,000 won after a stock split. Its trading halted from Monday to Thursday.

The secondary Kosdaq also rose 24.12 points or 3.41 percent to close at 731.50. The tech and bio-heavy index rose on strong institutional buying despite a 1.96 percent decline in the U.S. Nasdaq biotech index.

The Korean won closed at 1,131.40 won against the U.S. dollar, down 13 won from the previous trading session. It broke the streak of seven straight losing sessions that started on Oct. 1.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds increased 3.8 basis points to 2.05 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds rose 3.8 basis points to 2.40 percent.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN, YONHAP [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]