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Korean stock market rides on U.S. gains

Mar 01,2017
Seoul’s main bourse turned around from a three-day fall and rose slightly on Tuesday, largely boosted by gains in the U.S. market after President Donald Trump laid out his economic plans in an address to Congress.

The benchmark Kospi went up 6.12 points, or 0.29 percent, to close at 2,091.64 on Tuesday. Foreign investors were the main buyers, scooping up 60.5 billion won ($53.5 million). They purchased transportation and equipment shares worth 51.2 billion won and 35.7 billion won in electricity and electronics stocks.

“The U.S. index is in a wait-and-see mode, along with upward momentum of tech and consumer goods shares,” said Suh Sang-yong, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. “The local index is forecast to stay on an upward momentum on the back of U.S. gains.”

Institutional and retail investors each sold off 25.5 billion won and 83.4 billion won in Korean stock.

Large-cap shares displayed mixed movement across the board, although overall, they gained 0.4 percent on Tuesday.

Samsung Electronics moved up 1 percent to close at 1,922,000 won, on the same day the company said it would dissolve its key strategy office. Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of Samsung, was indicted earlier in the day on bribery charges.

Chipmaker SK Hynix climbed 1.52 percent to 46,700 won, and the nation’s leading steelmaker, Posco, advanced 1.25 percent to 283,500 won. LG Chem inched up 0.18 percent to 283,000 won.

While the country’s leading car manufacturer, Hyundai Motor, added 0.67 percent to close at 149,500, its sister company Kia Motors remained fixed at 38,250. Their affiliate Hyundai Mobis, an auto parts maker, tumbled 1.54 percent to 255,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq barely moved on Tuesday, up just 0.08 points, or 0.01 percent, to close at 612.20.

The Korean won, which has shown fluctuation against the greenback since the inauguration of President Trump, closed at 1,130.7 won against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, up 3 won, or 0.3 percent.

The yield on three-year Korean government bonds rose 1 basis point to 1.67 percent, and the 10-year bond yield lost 1 basis point to close at 2.16 percent.

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