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Seoul bourse shrugs off North’s missiles

Mar 07,2017
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Seoul’s main bourse ended higher on Friday, boosted by foreign investors scooping up local electrical and electronics shares, including those of Samsung Electronics, which reached a record high.

The benchmark Kospi rose slightly on Friday, up 2.61 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 2,081.36.

The market opened lower due to North Korean missile tests, discord between Korea and China over a U.S. antimissile system as well as a possible rate hike in March by Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen but recovered throughout the day.

“An expected rate hike in the U.S. this month is sapping investor sentiment,” said Kim Yu-geom, an analyst at Cape Securities. “But Samsung and SK Hynix helped boost the Kospi.”

Foreign investors were the main buyers of local shares, net purchasing 232.1 billion won ($200.3 million) in stocks. They bought electrical and electronics shares worth 167.5 billion won.

Institutions and retail investors were net sellers, offloading 265.8 billion and 48.8 billion won in stocks each.

By sector, semiconductor shares climbed up 3.2 percent and machinery and equipment stocks added 0.2 percent

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 1.16 percent, or 23,000 won, to close at 2,004,000 won, a record high. SK Hynix, a chipmaker, jumped 4.78 percent from the previous closing to 49,350 won. Steelmaker Posco inched up 0.35 percent to 288,500 won and KB Financial Group nudged up 0.21 percent to 47,500 won.

While top automaker Hyundai Motor and its sister company Kia Motors went up 2.11 percent and 0.14 percent each to 145,000 won and 36,550 won, their auto part affiliate Hyundai Mobis remained fixed at 241,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq rose for the first time in three days, up 3.32 points, or 0.55 percent, from the previous trading day to 604.05.

The Korean won fell 1.9 won against the greenback to close at 1,158 won against the dollar.

The three-yield and ten-yield treasury bonds went up three basis points to 1.75 and 2.26 percent each.


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