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Kospi hits its second highest level ever

May 03,2017
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Seoul’s main bourse ended higher on Tuesday to reach the second highest level ever, boosted by positive quarterly earnings of Korean companies as well as a drastic soaring in the nation’s exports.

The benchmark Kospi rose 14.23 points, or 0.65 percent, from the previous trading day to close at 2,219.67 on Tuesday. The figure is the second highest in the index’s history. The index reached a record high on May 2, 2011 when it closed at 2,228.96.

“The overall atmosphere is optimistic on earnings and various risks in the financial market have been lifted,” said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities Co., adding the market is likely to set a new record in the near future.

On Monday, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy reported that Korea’s exports in April hit $51 billion, up 24.2 percent year on year. In line with indicators that suggest a rosy outlook on the Korean economy, the Korea Institute of Finance projected 2.8 percent growth in GDP, up 0.3 percent from a projection set last year.

Foreign investors scooped up 134.1 billion won ($118.8 million) in local shares. Institutions and retail investors net sold shares worth 45.1 billion won and 130.5 billion won each.

By sector, securities and automobiles increased 2.4 and 2.3 percent while steel and semiconductors rose 1.3 and 1.2 percent. Overall, most shares in the index remained in positive terrain.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics once again reached a record price, up 0.63 percent to close at 2,245,000 won on Tuesday. SK Hynix, a chipmaker, also enjoyed a strong gain, up 2.59 percent to 55,400 won.

Automobile shares stayed positive. Top automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 4.86 percent to 151,000 won. Its sister company Kia Motors inched up 0.72 percent to 35,100 won and affiliate auto part maker Hyundai Mobis climbed up 3.60 percent to 230,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq continued to fall for the third straight trading day, down 1.81 points, or 0.29 percent, to 626.43.

The local currency closed at 1,130.50 won against the U.S. dollar, up 7.40 won from the previous session’s close.

Three-year government bond yield rose two basis point to 1.69 percent.


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