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Kospi reaches record high - up 0.43%

July 18,2017
The country’s main bourse ended at a fresh record high Monday, taking a cue from gains on Wall Street last week. Weak economic data in the United States backed up the Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s testimony that the bank will gradually raise its key interest rates, which relieved investors. The won rose against the U.S. dollar.

Kospi rose 10.47 points, or 0.43 percent, to close at a record high of 2,425.10. It even traded right above the 2,430 level during the trading. Trade volume was moderate at 252.17 million shares worth 4.82 trillion won ($4.27 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 526 to 279.

Institutional investors bought a net 110.77 billion won worth of stocks on expectations that major companies like Samsung Electronics will come up with solid second-quarter earnings results later this month.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.32 percent to 2,532,000 won, with its smaller rival SK Hynix up 0.14 percent at 71,200 won. Defensive stocks advanced, with Korea Electric Power Corp. rising 1.07 percent to 42,400 won.

Among losers, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. fell 2.27 percent to 150,500 won, and No. 1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co. declined 0.40 percent to 249,500 won.

Other tech stocks such as LG Electronics, Samsung SDS and Kakao also enjoyed increases.

LG Electronics rose 0.86 percent to 70,100 won while Samsung SDS jumped 4.11 percent to 190,000 won. Kakao, which was transferred from the secondary Kosdaq edged up 1.52 percent to 100,500 won. Naver closed flat at 839,000 won.

The Kosdaq closed at 659.89, up 5.78 points, or 0.88 percent from the previous session.

Celltrion added 1.28 percent to 110,700 won and Medytox rose 1.31 percent to 581,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,128.30 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.00 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year treasuries rose 0.4 basis points to 1.754 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 1.8 basis points to 1.962 percent.

BY PARK EUN-JEE, YONHAP [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]