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Samsung leads market to record high

July 14,2017
Korean stocks closed at a record-high on Thursday as investors’ sentiment was boosted by overnight gains on Wall Street.

The benchmark Kospi soared 17.72 points, or 0.74 percent, to close at a fresh record high of 2,409.49. Trade volume was low at 284 million shares worth 6.05 trillion won ($5.32 billion), with gainers slightly outnumbering losers 397 to 396.

Analysts said Seoul shares closed higher on the back of improved investor sentiment at Wall Street after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen voiced support for a gradual increase of key interest rates.

The market rally also came amid the improved outlook over corporate earnings for the second half of 2017.

“While [listed companies’] second quarter earnings growth slowed, investors’ sentiment is being boosted by the outlook that their earnings will improve over the second half,” said Lee Chang-mok, a researcher at NH Investment & Securities.

Foreigners bought a net 369 billion won, while institutions sold 177 billion won. Retail investors offloaded 243 billion won.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics shot up 1.36 percent to a fresh record high of 2,528,000 won, and its smaller local rival LG Electronics moved up 0.56 percent at 71,200 won.

Steelmakers were also among winners, with Posco advancing 2.94 percent at 315,000 won and Korea Zinc increasing 1.75 percent at 466,000 won. Hyundai Steel moved up 1.63 percent at 62,400 won.

Foodstuff makers, on the other hand, closed lower. CJ CheilJedang decreased 0.14 percent at 355,000 won and Orion shed 2.28 percent to 81,600 won.

The secondary Kosdaq closed at 652.69, up 1.59 points, or 0.24 percent from the previous session. IT shares led gains.

Celltrion slipped 0.74 percent to 107,400 won and Medytox rose 0.97 percent to 562,900 won.

The local currency closed at 1,136.30 won against the U.S. dollar, down 8.80 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices closed higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell two basis points at 1.75, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bond lost three basis points to 2.24 percent.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON, YONHAP [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]