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Local market up on hopes for U.S.-China deal

Apr 10,2019
Shares ended higher Tuesday amid renewed hopes for progress in the trade talks between the United States and China, and a possible compromise on Brexit. The won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi added 2.96 points, or 0.13 percent, to end the session at 2,213.56. Trading volume was moderate at 409.58 million shares worth 4.78 trillion won ($4.18 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 430 to 362.

The index moved up and down as investors assessed the prospects for first-quarter earnings, looking ahead to developments in Britain’s exit from the European Union and ongoing trade talks between the United States and China.

“The market edged higher as easing uncertainties over major economic events lifted investor sentiment,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. “But the gains were limited, as investors tried to lock in part of the recent gains.”

Foreigners bought a net 201-billion-won worth of stocks to support the broader market. Institutions and retail investors offloaded a net 25.4 billion won and 173.3 billion won, respectively.

Tech shares were mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics was steady at 46,650 won, and major chip maker SK Hynix edged down 0.13 percent to 77,800 won.

In contrast, bio shares rose on the upbeat outlook for their earnings. Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion jumped 4.6 percent to 204,500 won, and Samsung BioLogics, Samsung’s health care unit, advanced 3.18 percent to 356,500 won.

Shares affiliated with Korean Air finished lower to take a breather from a strong rally after the death of Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho over the weekend. Korean Air fell 1.38 percent to 32,050 won, and Hanjin Kal skidded 0.82 percent to 30,150 won following a 20-percent rise in the previous session.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 4.89 points, or 0.65 percent, to close at 756.81. The index ended higher for eight consecutive days as foreign investors mass purchased stocks after seeing the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rise 0.3 percent overnight.

Celltrion Healthcare rose 1.59 percent to 70,400 won, and Celltrion Pharm went up 1.2 percent to 58,500 won. GS Home Shopping gained 0.45 percent to 178,000 won.

The won closed at 1,142.1 won against the dollar, down 2.6 won from Monday’s close.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds gained 0.2 basis points to 1.725 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds rose 0.4 basis points to 1.872 percent.

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