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Positive global indicators buoy Seoul stocks

Dec 06,2017
Korean stocks rose Tuesday on the back of net purchases by local institutional investors. Investor sentiment was partly boosted from positive signs overseas, after indicators on China’s economy improved and the U.S. government’s tax reduction plan passed the Senate over the weekend.

The benchmark Kospi moved up 8.45 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 2,510.12.

Trade volume was moderate at 387 million shares worth 5.82 trillion won ($5.37 billion).

Institutional investors purchased 263.9 billion won in stock, followed by foreign investors, who net bought 55.4 billion won. On the contrary, retail investors offloaded 347.8 billion won worth of shares.

The local stock market opened lower, following an overnight sell-off of U.S. tech stocks. But the Kospi turned positive as local institutional investors continued to purchase local stocks.

Kim Byung-yeon, a researcher at NH Investment & Securities, said local technology stocks may be weak for the time being, as investors are likely to be cautious about the sell-off in U.S. technology shares.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics slipped 0.16 percent to end at 2,563,000 won on Tuesday. SK Hynix, a global chipmaker and No. 2 by market cap, snapped a two-day uplift by falling 1.52 percent to 77,900 won.

LG Chem also shed 1.43 percent to 414,000 won and Naver, the operator of the country’s top internet portal, shed 0.72 percent at 833,000 won. Lotte Chemical also lost 0.41 percent to 367,500 won.

Automakers traded in positive terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor up 0.62 percent to 161,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors gaining 1.96 percent at 33,750 won. Auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis remained unchanged at 268,500 won.

Steel companies also saw upbeat results with Posco adding 2.22 percent to 345,000 won and Hyundai Steel rising 2.62 percent to 62,600 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 8.33 points, or 1.06 from Monday, to close at 774.12.

Analysts said the decline was affected by the drop of Nasdaq’s biotech shares the previous day. This prompted a downfall amongst local pharmaceutical companies as well, many of which are placed at the top of the list by market cap.

Celltrion fell 1.91 percent to 205,200 won along with affiliate Celltrion Healthcare, down 6.11 percent to 81,500 won. Sillajen fell steeply to lose 16.82 percent to 90,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,085.80 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.9 won from the previous session’s close.

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