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Foreign investors bolster local market

Feb 24,2017
Seoul’s main bourse held its place above 2,100 for the third consecutive day, largely due to foreign investments.

Investor sentiment was steady after the publication of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting for January, during which it said it will raise its key interest rate “fairly soon.” The Bank of Korea also froze its key rate at 1.25 percent Thursday.

The benchmark Kospi increased 1.02 points, or 0.05 percent, to close at 2,107.63, following overnight gains in the U.S. market, which rose 0.16 percent.

Foreigners continued a buying spree that has lasted six trading days and net purchased 32.2 billion won ($28.3 million) in stocks.

“Foreign buying gave a boost to the stock markets,” said Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

On the contrary, institutional investors offloaded 55.8 billion won in shares and retail investors sold shares worth 26.8 billion won on Thursday.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.31 percent to close at 1,959,000 won. Chipmaker SK Hynix inched down 0.79 percent to 50,200 won and Hyundai Motor, the country’s top automaker, shed 2.34 percent to 146,000 won. Its sister company Kia Motors tumbled 1.3 percent to 37,850 won.

Korea Electric Power Corp rose 0.35 percent and Naver, the nation’s portal giant, grew 1.38 percent to 808,000 won. LG Chemicals advanced 1.61 percent to 284,000 won and KB Financial Group, the holding company of KB Kookmin Bank, climbed 0.95 percent to 47,650 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell again Thursday, shedding 3.72 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 617.67.

Kakao, the messenger app provider, declined 1.79 percent to 87,900 won and Com2us, one of the largest game developers in Korea, fell 2.44 percent to 112,000 won.

The top pharmaceutical companies rose. Celltrion inched up 0.4 percent and Medytox added 1.69 percent to 421,400 won. Komipharm added 0.44 percent to 34,000 won.

The local currency gained against the greenback, closing at 1,137.2 won against the dollar, up 5.3 won.

The three-year bond yield slipped one basis point to 1.68 percent and the 10-year treasury fell four basis points to 2.21 percent.

BY CHOI HYUNG-JO, YONHAP [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]