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Punters pin hopes on trade truce, Kospi rises

Apr 04,2019
Korean shares ended higher Wednesday as investors pinned hopes on headway being made in trade talks between the United States and China this week. The won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 26.09 points, or 1.20 percent, to close at 2,203.27. Trading volume was moderate at 344.29 million shares worth 5.12 trillion won ($4.5 billion).

Individuals sold a net 467-billion-won worth of stocks and foreign investors bought a net 279-billion-won worth of shares. Institutions bought a net 193.5 billion won of stocks.

“Investor sentiment was buoyed following a report that the United States and China have ironed out most of their differences in trade negotiations in Washington to end their long-running trade row,” Han In-hwan, an analyst at Meritz Securities said. He said such a development, if true, would ease uncertainty in the market.

Most large-cap stocks advanced across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.86 percent to 46,600 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix jumped 4.58 percent to 79,900 won. LG Chem increased 1.21 percent to end at 376,500 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor gained 4.20 percent at 124,000 won, and its auto parts affiliate, Hyundai Mobis, rose 3.86 percent to 215,500 won. Kia Motors rose 3.70 percent to 36,400 won.

Leading steelmaker Posco climbed 2.25 percent to 273,000 won and No. 1 refiner SK Innovation was up 0.82 percent to 184,000 won.

Pharmaceutical firms closed higher, with Celltrion rising 1.84 percent to 193,500 won, while Hanmi Pharmaceutical rose 0.65 percent to 465,000 won. Samsung BioLogics rose 0.57 percent to 351,000 won.

Among decliners, tobacco giant KT&G shed 0.48 percent to 104,500 won.

Shares of mobile carriers stayed bearish, with No. 1 SK Telecom losing 3.19 percent to 243,000 won and its rival KT decreasing 0.73 percent to 27,100 won. Shares of smaller mobile carrier LG U+ also fell 6.07 percent to 14,700 won.

The Kosdaq rose 9.73 points, or 1.32 percent, to end the session at 749.30. The tech heavy index was lifted by institutional and foreign buying of shares and a 0.9-percent-rise in Nasdaq Biotechnology Index overnight.

The won traded at 1,134.30 won against the dollar, down 2.10 won from the previous day’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 1.4 basis points to 1.72 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds rose 3.3 basis points to 1.89 percent.

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