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Kospi gets bump from retail, institutions

May 16,2017
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Seoul’s main bourse closed higher Monday as individual and institutional buyers scooped up big cap stocks offsetting a selling spree by foreigners amid uncertainties at both home and abroad, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi closed at 2,290.65, up 4.63 points, or 0.20 percent, from the previous trading day.

Retail investors bought 34.5 billion won ($30.7 million) in shares and institutional investors purchased 25.4 billion won worth. Foreign investors, on the other hand, sold 95.8 billion won in shares. Trading volume, however, only reached 4.6 trillion won Monday, the first time in five trading days that the figure dropped below the 5 trillion won level.

“The local stock market is forecast to keep an upward momentum backed by sound corporate earnings and hopes for the new government’s policies,” said Lee Yeong-gon, a Hana Financial Investment analyst, adding that the Kospi may even breach the 2,600-mark.

Most large caps closed mixed.

Top cap Samsung Electronics gained 0.61 percent to 2,305,000 won and SK Hynix, a major chipmaker, also added 0.54 percent to 55,600 won.

Naver, the operator of the country’s top Internet portal, lost 1.06 percent to end at 839,000 won.

Samsung Life Insurance, the top life insurer here, climbed 4.24 percent to 123,000 won as gains from its equity ties with Samsung Electronics were revaluated and the insurance firm reported market forecast-beating earnings for the first quarter.

Auto shares closed mixed with leading automaker Hyundai Motor losing 0.65 percent to 154,000 won. Its sister company, Kia Motors, gained 0.82 percent to 36,800 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis remained unchanged at 247,000 won.

Tobacco company KT&G fell 1.42 percent to 104,500 won, while BGF Retail jumped 2.47 percent to close at 124,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq closed at 645.38, up 1.65 points, or 0.26 percent, from the previous trading day.

The local currency closed at 1,123.60 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.80 won from the previous session’s close.


BY KIM YOUNG-NAM, YONHAP [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]