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Stocks up on rate cut hopes, Kepco leads rise

July 24,2019
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Stocks closed higher Tuesday on hopes that monetary easing around the globe will accelerate and trade talks between the United States and China will get back on track. The won lost against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 8.11 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 2,101.45. Trading volume was moderate at 620.16 million shares worth 4.52 trillion won ($3.83 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 515 to 289.

The index recovered above the 2,100 level as investors were digesting a slew of quarterly results, amid hope that the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank will cut interest rates to support economic growth.

Investors were also keeping an eye on Japan’s move to expand its export restrictions on Korea, which could affect the high-tech industry of Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

“Shares of Korean chipmakers drove up the local stock market, led by foreign buying,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Foreign investors and institutions bought a net 287.18 billion won and 4.5 billion worth of stocks, respectively. Retail investors sold a net 285.6 billion won.

Samsung Electronics rose 0.21 percent to 47,300 won, and major chipmaker SK Hynix added 0.52 percent to 78,800 won. LG Electronics gained 0.14 percent to 70,800 won.

Financials surged, with Shinhan Financial Group rising 1.87 percent to 46,300 won and KB Financial Group moving up 1.43 percent to 46,100 won.

State-run Korea Electric Power Corporation jumped 4.81 percent to 27,250 won on heavy foreign buying of the undervalued utility stock. Naver gained 1.24 percent to 122,500 won, and Kakao added 1.49 percent to 136,000 won.

Auto shares retreated. Industry leader Hyundai Motor declined 0.75 percent to 132,000 won. Kia Motor decreased 0.58 percent to 42,600 won. But auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis gained 2.42 percent to 233,000 won.

Bio shares also went south. Celltrion fell 1.36 percent to 182,000 won, and Samsung BioLogics inched down 0.34 percent to 289,000 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical remained unchanged at 299,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 6.13 points, or 0.91 percent, to close at 668.65.

The local currency closed at 1,178.9 won against the dollar, up 0.6 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 0.6 basis points to 1.339 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds gained 0.7 basis points to 1.472 percent.

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