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Kospi breaks 2,400 for first time since Aug. 2

Sept 19,2017
Seoul’s main bourse closed higher on Monday, pushed up by local tech shares, including Samsung Electronics, that reached a new record high.

The benchmark Kospi rose 32.14 points, or 1.35 percent, on Monday to 2,418.21, closing above the 2,400-level for the first time since Aug. 2.

The local stock market opened higher as the U.S. stock market closed at a fresh record high last week, with the S&P 500 inching up to surpass the 2,500-point mark for the first time.

Foreign investors were the main buyers of local shares, scooping up 214.5 billion won ($190.3 million). Institutional investors offloaded 81.9 billion won while retail investors net sold 153.7 billion won in Korean stocks.

By sector, securities rose 3.9 percent while electrical and electronics shares increased 3.6 percent.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics jumped 4.13 percent on Monday to close at 2,624.000 won, a fresh high for the tech giant’s share price.

SK Hynix, a chipmaker, also reached a fresh peak on Monday at 79,700 won, up 3.24 percent or 2,500 won.

“The rally was led by tech shares, especially Samsung, amid a rosy outlook over the rising prices of semiconductors,” said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co. “With the U.S. stocks setting new records, there is a possibility of local shares going further up.”

Portal giant Naver gained 2.76 percent to 781,000 won. Oil refiner SK Innovation nudged up 1.06 percent to 191,000 won and Samsung SDI, battery-making arm of Samsung, went up 2.80 percent to 220,500 won.

Automakers were mixed across the board.

Top automotive company Hyundai Motor inched up 0.37 percent to 137,000 won. Affiliate and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis also pushed up 0.23 percent to 216,500 won. Kia Motors, second-leading automobile company and sister company of Hyundai, shed 1.13 percent to 30,550 won.

Top battery maker LG Chem fell 1.50 percent to 395,000 won. SK Telecom, the nation’s top telecommunication company, inched down 1.19 percent to 250,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq continued its rally into third trading day, up 4.57 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 675.87.

The local currency closed at 1,126.60 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.10 won from the previous session’s close.

The yield on three-year government bond remained fixed at 1.74 percent. The return on 10-year bond rose two basis points to 2.27 percent.

BY CHOI HYUNG-JO, YONHAP [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]