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Trade war optimism gives fillip to Kospi, won

Apr 02,2019
Korean shares ended higher Monday on purchases by foreigners and institutions amid hopes for a trade deal between the United States and China. The won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 27.61 points, or 1.29 percent, to close at 2,168.28. Trading volume was light at 259 million shares worth 4.24 trillion won ($3.74 billion).

Individuals sold a net 437.8-billion-won worth of stocks and foreign investors bought a net 250.3-billion-won worth of shares. Institutions bought a net 183.3 billion won of stocks.

“Investors are taking a positive cue from the trade talks between the United States and China as they reported progress in the talks. U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that the trade deal is going very well,” Kim Yoon-bo, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities said.

The talks resume this week in Washington with a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He.

Investors are also waiting for the summit between Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, scheduled for April 11, to get a cue to reorganize their portfolios, Kim said.

Tech, auto, steel and shipbuilding stocks led gains, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics rising 0.90 percent to 45,050 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix jumping 3.23 percent to 76,600 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.84 percent at 120,500 won, and its auto parts affiliate, Hyundai Mobis, rose 1.20 percent to 211,000 won. Kia Motors rose 0.28 percent to 35,450 won.

Leading steelmaker Posco jumped 5.34 percent to 266,500 won.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings climbed 1.95 percent to 339,500 won and financially-troubled Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering jumped 4.83 percent to 29,300 won as the former signed a deal with the state-run Korea Development Bank to acquire the latter earlier this month.

Domestic players were among decliners, with Samsung Life Insurance falling 0.12 percent to 84,000 won and LG Household & Health Care shedding 0.14 percent at 1,415,000 won.

The Kosdaq rose 7.50 points, or 1.03 percent, to end the session at 736.81. The tech heavy index was lifted by institutional buying of shares and a 1.6-percent-rise in Philadelphia Semiconductor Index overnight.

The won traded at 1,133.70 won against the dollar, down 1.40 won from the previous day’s close.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 3.6 basis points to 1.73 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds rose 3.3 basis points to 1.87 percent.

BY KIM HE-YU, YONHAP [kim.heyu@joongang.co.kr]