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Kospi posts modest gain after rally by Wall Street

Mar 04,2020
Stocks ended higher for the second straight session on Tuesday ahead of a crucial teleconference by the Group of Seven (G7), during which the collective of rich countries is expected to decide on a round of concerted measures to mitigate the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

The won fell against the dollar, while the Kospi rose 11.64 points, or 0.58 percent, to 2,014.15.

Korean shares opened sharply higher earlier in the day, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street over expectations of rate cuts in the United States and other countries.

But they trimmed earlier gains as no major breakthrough was reported in a draft joint statement on coronavirus by the G7, Huh Jae-hwan, a strategist at Eugene Investment, said.

G7 finance ministers and central bank governors are to hold a teleconference later in the day to discuss how to deal with the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Huh said foreigners and institutions turned net sellers on profit-taking by taking advantage of a rebound in the local stock market. Foreign investors offloaded a net 307 billion won ($257 million) worth of local stocks, while retail investors scooped up a net 710 billion won.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Samsung Electronics rose 0.73 percent to 55,400 won, and chipmaker SK hynix was up 0.76 percent to 92,800 won.

Hanjin KAL rose 20.6 percent to a record high of 80,800 won amid the owner family’s dispute over management control.

Among losers, carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.88 percent to 112,500 won, and biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion declined 1.43 percent to 172,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,195.20 won against the dollar, up 1.50 won from the previous session’s close.

The secondary Kosdaq was down 0.84 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 626.82.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds lost 2.3 basis points to 1.106 percent, while the return on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 1.0 basis points to reach 1.16 percent.

BY KIM YEON-AH, YONHAP [kim.yeonah@joongang.co.kr]