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U.S.-China trade talk hopes, data boost stocks

Apr 03,2019
Stocks ended higher Tuesday as foreign investors bought amid hopes of a trade deal between the United States and China. The won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 8.90 points, or 0.41 percent, to close at 2,177.18. Trading volume was moderate at 250.94 million shares worth 4.1 trillion won ($3.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 432 to 387.

Foreign investors bought a net 276.19 billion won worth of stocks balancing stock sales worth a combined 257 billion won by institutions and individuals.

"Investor worries over an economic slowdown appear to have eased due to better-than-expected manufacturing data for March in the United States and China. Foreign buying gave a boost to the main index," said Han In-hwan, an analyst at Meritz Securities.

Other observers said investors are still awaiting the outcome of the trade talks between the United States and China in Washington D.C. later this week.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Samsung Electronics rose 1.55 percent to end the Tuesday session at 45,750 won, and Posco climbed 0.19 percent to 267,000 won. SK Innovation was up 0.55 percent to 182,500 won.

Bio stocks also closed in positive terrain, with Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, gaining 6.56 percent to end at 349,000 won. Celltrion was up 4.40 percent to 190,000 won.

Among decliners, SK Telecom fell 1.38 percent to 251,000 won. State-run Korea Electric Power decreased 0.33 percent to 30,250 won.

Auto stocks closed lower. Hyundai Motor fell 1.24 percent to 119,000 won, and its sister company, Kia Motors, decreased 0.99 percent to 35,100 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis lost 1.66 percent to end the session at 207,500 won.

The Kosdaq rose 2.76 points, or 0.37 percent, to end the session at 739.57.

The index ended higher for three consecutive days as investors felt more encouraged to buy stocks after seeing Nasdaq shares increase from the previous session. Investors were also motivated to buy shares as worries over global recession lessened.

The local currency traded at 1,136.40 won against the dollar, up 2.70 won from the previous day's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds lost 2.0 basis points to reach 1.706 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds lost 1.0 basis point to finish 1.856 percent.

BY KO JUN-TAE, YONHAP [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]