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Kospi bounces back after missile launch

Aug 31,2017
Korean stocks finished higher on Wednesday, recovering from a market rout caused by North Korea’s latest missile launch a day earlier. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 7.55 points, or 0.32 percent, to close at 2,372.29.

Trade volume was light at 302 million shares worth 4.51 trillion won ($4.01 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 441 to 346.

The local stock market opened higher as market sentiment was boosted by overnight gains on Wall Street, recovering from a loss caused by North Korea’s missile provocation. On Tuesday, Pyongyang fired a missile that flew over Japan, fueling further tension on the Korean Peninsula.

“The market is recovering from a brief dip in the previous session, and North Korea’s related market rout may subdue,” said Kim Byong-yun, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

Samsung Electronics, the top market cap here, rose 0.26 percent to end at 2,310,000 won.

SK Hynix, a major chipmaker, advanced 1.33 percent at 68,500 won, while shares of Hyundai Motor, Korea’s No. 1 automaker, backtracked 0.69 percent to end at 143,000 won on concerns over a protracted slump in China.

Kia Motors gained 2.8 percent to 36,750 won and its auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis dipped 0.2 percent to 244,500 won.

LG Chem, the No. 1 chemical firm, jumped 3.12 percent to end at a yearly high of 380,000 won.

Oil refiners were also among gainers. SK Innovation, the No. 1 oil firm in the country, climbed up 1.36 percent to end at 186,000 won, and S-Oil, the No. 3 oil refiner, gained 3.66 percent to end at 127,500 won.

The tech heavy Kosdaq market closed at 655.00, up 1.04 points or 0.16 percent from the previous trading day.

The local currency closed at 1,124.20 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.2 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 2 basis points to 1.752 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds shed 1.7 basis points to 1.958 percent.

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