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Korean market closes on another record day

Oct 24,2017
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The Korean stock market broke another record on Monday, with the Kospi closing at 2,490.05, up 0.51 points from the previous trading day.

The performance followed another record-breaking session on Friday on the back of strong export figures and waning concerns about war on the Korean Peninsula.

Early in the day, the index opened higher, tracking gains on Wall Street, and even reached the psychologically significant 2,500 level during midday trading. Monday’s close was the 29th time that the Kospi broke a record this year.

The trade volume was moderate at 272 million shares worth 4.7 trillion won ($4.93 billion), with losers outnumbering winners 469 to 323.

The driving forces behind the strong performance were foreign and individual investors, who each bought 315.1 billion won and 208.4 billion won worth of shares. In contrast, institutional investors sold 617.7 billion won in stocks.

Electronics accounted for most of foreign investors’ purchases, at 126 billion won, followed by investments in chemicals with 54.5 billion won.

Tech stocks led gains, with Samsung Electronics, the Kospi’s largest company by market capitalization, rising 0.85 percent to 2,715,000 won, and rival semiconductor manufacturer SK Hynix jumping 4.31 percent to 84,700 won.

AmorePacific, a leading cosmetics maker, gained 0.18 percent to end the day at 281,000 won, while rival LG Household and Health Care climbed 1.24 percent to 1,062,000 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor remained unchanged from the previous session at 151,500 won, and its affiliate Kia Motors nudged up 1.35 percent to 33,850 won. Parts supplier Hyundai Mobis inched down 1.01 percent to 245,500 won.

In contrast to the widespread gains, top steelmaker Posco fell 1.34 percent to 332,500 won, and the public utility Korea Electric Power Corporation dropped 1.70 percent to 40,400 won.

The secondary index, the Kosdaq, also rose on Monday, closing at 675.86, up 2.91 points from Friday.

A total of 3.3 trillion won was traded Monday, up by 0.3 trillion won from the previous session.

The Kosdaq’s rise was led by foreign buying, despite weak performance from the index’s pharmaceutical companies.

The local currency closed at 1,130.20 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.8 won from Friday’s close.

The yield on three-year government bonds declined six basis points to 2.03 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds fell two basis points to 2.45 percent.

BY KANG JIN-KYU, YONHAP [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]