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Korean shares rise as domestic plays gain favor

Apr 11,2019
Shares ended higher Tuesday as investors scooped up domestic-focused stocks amid concerns over global economic growth. The won strengthened against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi advanced 10.83 points, or 0.49 percent, to close the session at 2,224.39. Trading volume was moderate at 390.93 million shares worth 4.90 trillion won ($4.30 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 558 to 258.

The index started lower following overnight losses on Wall Street due to concerns over the global economy, but rebounded in late afternoon trade.

On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) trimmed its global growth forecast for this year to 3.3 percent, down from its 3.5 percent prediction made in January.

“The rising protectionism in global trade and concerns over global economic growth hurt sentiment among foreigners, but institutional buying offset the losses to push up the overall market,” said Yoon Jung-seon, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities.

Institutions bought a net 233.4 billion won worth of stocks, while foreign and retail investors offloaded 3.7 billion won and 227.5 billion won, respectively.

Tech shares rose. Samsung Electronics inched up 0.11 percent to 46,700 won, and major chipmaker SK Hynix gained 1.03 percent to 78,600 won. Telecoms advanced on hopes for their 5G commercial service in the country.

SK Telecom gained 1.02 percent to 246,500 won, and its smaller rival, KT, increased 1.84 percent to 27,700 won. LG U+ gained 1.38 percent to end at 14,650 won.

Financials ended mixed. Shinhan Financial Group gained 0.55 percent to 45,750 won, and KB Financial Group picked up 0.89 percent to 45,200 won. But KTB Investment & Securities remained unchanged at 3,190 won, and eBest Securities lost 0.24 percent to 8,150 won.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 3.34 points, or 0.44 percent, to close at 760.15. Although the index started lower following overnight losses on the Nasdaq, foreign investors mass purchased pharmaceutical shares to rebound the index in the afternoon.

Celltrion Healthcare lost 0.57 percent to 70,000 won, but Biomed gained 2.62 percent to 278,000 won. Medytox rose 2.03 percent to 609,100 won.

The won closed at 1,138.6 won against the dollar, down 3.5 won from Tuesday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended mixed. The yield on three-year bonds gained 0.6 basis points to 1.731 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds lost 0.1 basis points to 1.871 percent.

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