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Stocks soar to new high ahead of voting

May 09,2017
Korea’s main stock index hit a fresh record for a second straight session Monday, a day before voters go to polls to choose a president. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi jumped 51.52 points, or 2.3 percent, to close at an all-time high of 2,292.76. Trade volume was moderate at 277 million shares worth 6.5 trillion won ($5.73 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 556 to 235.

The local stock market opened higher on hopes for an economic stimulus widely expected to be sought by the new government, a day after touching its highest-ever close.

Last Thursday, the Kospi gained about 1 percent to close at 2,241.24 points, thanks to foreign investments and healthier corporate earnings.

Risk appetite grew after moderate Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France and the release of robust job data in the United States, analysts said.

There were only three companies that fell among the top 50 companies listed in the Kospi market: Lotte Chem, KT and NC Soft.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 3.3 percent to end at an all-time high of 2,351,000 won, and SK Hynix, the global chipmaker, gained 1.79 percent to hit a fresh high of 56,900 won. Naver, operator of the country’s top Internet portal, climbed 2.67 percent to 845,000 won.

Hyundai Motor, the No. 1 automaker, jumped 3.95 percent to 158,000 won as its smaller affiliate Kia Motors gained 1.42 percent at 35,750 won.

Steelmaker Posco and Hyundai Heavy Industries remained unchanged.

The secondary Kosdaq market closed at 643.39, up 8.28 points or 1.3 percent from the previous trading day.

Celltrion rose 5.22 percent to 94,800 won, Kakao strengthened 1.06 percent ot 95,000 won while Loen Entertainment shares fell 0.78 percent to 89,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,131.40 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.3 won.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasuries gained 2.9 basis points to 1.711 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 3.2 basis points to 1.916 percent.

BY KIM JEE-HEE, YONHAP [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]