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Trump’s speech cheers Wall St., Kospi

Mar 03,2017
Seoul’s main bourse rose Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the United States surpassed 21,000 points for the first time following a speech by President Donald Trump to congress.

The benchmark Kospi broke 2,100 Thursday to close at 2,102.65, up 11.02 points, or 0.53 percent, in comparison to the previous trading day. Its further rise was hampered, however, by a strong signal from the U.S. Federal Reserve that its key interest rate may go up in March.

Foreign investors were the main buyers of local shares, scooping up 656.7 billion won ($574.6 million). Their main target was local electrical and electronics shares, purchasing shares worth 320.7 billion won. Institutions offloaded shares worth 597 billion won and retail investors net sold 105.3 billion won.

Market watchers said investor sentiment improved after Trump outlined plans for U.S. infrastructure investment, health care reform and tax relief for businesses.

“The local stock market moved around the 2,100 mark despite various uncertainties from both home and abroad,” said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities, adding that such upward momentum is attributable to eased worries over Trump’s policies and the belief that the local economy is firm.

Across the board, large-cap shares rose 0.8 percent while mid- and small-cap shares fell 0.6 percent and 0.2 percent.

By sector, banking went up 2.1 percent and steel shares 1.4 percent.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics jumped 3.33 percent to close at 1,986,000 won.

“The Kospi rose as foreign investors scooped up some market heavy weights such as Samsung Electronics,” said Lee Yeong-gon, a Hana Financial Investment analyst.

Chipmaker SK Hynix gained 2.14 percent to 47,700 won and Naver, the nation’s portal giant, soared 5.03 percent to 815,000 won after it revealed its artificial intelligence system called Clova, CLOud Virtual Assistant, during the Mobile World Congress.

The Korean won went down 10.9 won to close at 1,141.6 won against the U.S. dollar.

The yield on three-year government bond added four basis points to 1.71 percent and 10-year treasury advanced six basis points to 2.22 percent.

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