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Kospi closes higher on improving export stats

May 03,2019
Local stocks closed higher Thursday as investors pinned hopes on exports recovering down the road, analysts said. The won gained ground against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi moved up 9.16 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 2,212.75. Trading volume was low at 358 million shares worth 4.92 trillion won ($4.22 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 515 to 289.

The Korean stock market was closed Wednesday for Labor Day.

Shares got off to a weak start as the U.S. Federal Reserve ruled out a rate cut in the near future. Investors, however, later focused on Korea’s export data.

The country’s outbound shipments came to $48.86 billion for April, down 2 percent from a year earlier. The decline in April compared to an 8.2 percent drop in March and a whopping 11.4-percent on-year decrease in February.

“Investors expect local firms’ operating profits to improve down the road as well,” said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities.

Foreigners bought a net 63.7 billion won, while retail investors dumped a net 101 billion won. Institutions bought a net 19.6 billion won.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics edged up 0.11 percent to 45,900 won.

Other major tech companies also closed higher, with No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix increasing 2.15 percent to 80,700 won and home appliance maker LG Electronics moving up 1.32 percent to 76,800 won.

Shipbuilders gained ground, with top player Hyundai Heavy Industries adding 3.61 percent to reach 129,000 won and Samsung Heavy Industries rising 3.65 percent to 8,520 won.

Mobile carriers were also bullish at the close, with industry leader SK Telecom moving up 1.62 percent to 251,500 won and KT up 0.55 percent at 27,500 won. LG U+ added 3.85 percent to reach 14,850 won.

Steelmakers, in contrast, lost ground, with No. 1 player Posco falling 0.39 percent to 254,000 won and Korea Zinc decreasing 1.22 percent to 447,000 won. Hyundai Steel fell 0.97 percent to 45,850 won.

No. 2 air carrier Asiana Airlines was down 2.57 percent at 6,440 won.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 5.64 points, or 0.75 percent, to close at 760.38.

The local currency closed at 1,165.70 won against the dollar, down 2.50 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds gained 3.3 basis points to 1.732 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds rose 4.0 basis points to 1.885 percent.

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