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Institutional bargain hunting lifts Seoul stocks

Dec 16,2017
Korean stocks ended higher Friday as institutions hunted for bargains. The uplift was limited by foreign and individual investors that continued to enjoy profit taking on the same day.

The benchmark Kospi rose 12.59 points, or 0.51 percent from the previous session, to close at 2,482.07.

Trade volume was moderate - 334.88 million shares worth 5.827 trillion won ($5.3 billion) changed hands.

Institutional investors bought 422 billion won worth of stocks after offloading 15 billion won Thursday. They had remained net buyers in the 12 previous sessions up to Wednesday. Individuals and foreigners, on the other hand, offloaded 257.5 billion won and 201.6 billion won each.

Mid-cap shares were strong on Friday as they advanced 1.7 percent. Large-cap companies added 0.5 percent whereas small-cap lost 0.1 percent.

Auto and steel shares led the bourse, with top carmaker Hyundai Motor rising 2.33 percent to 154,000 won along with Hyundai Mobis, up 3.89 percent to 267,000 won. Kia Motors rose 2.31 percent to 33,250 won. Leading steelmaker Posco climbed 0.91 percent to close at 333,500 won.

The list’s top tech shares lost ground. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell for the third consecutive trading day to close at 2,531,000 won, down 0.86 percent from Thursday. No.2 market cap and chipmaker SK Hynix lost 0.39 percent to 75,700 won.

LG and its affiliates did well on Friday. LG Electronics advanced 3.94 percent to 105,500 won. LG rose 3.34 percent to 89,600 won and LG Display added 1.67 percent to 30,400 won.

Netmarble Games went down 4.26 percent to 191,000 won, putting an end to six days of gains. Mirae Asset Daewoo lost 4.59 percent to 10,400 won after news spread on Friday that the Fair Trade Commission is probing the company on inside trading among affiliates.

The secondary Kosdaq changed little from the previous day at 771.82, up 1.47 points, or 0.19 percent from Thursday. Foreigners and institutions were the main contributors.

Celltrion increased 0.48 percent to 210,500 won, whereas Celltrion Healthcare slumped 3.72 percent to 90,500 won. Sillajen added 3.18 percent to 87,600 won and CJ E&M added 2.03 percent to 90,600 won.

The local currency closed at 1089.8 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.7 won from the previous session’s close.

The yield for the government’s three-year bond remained steady at 2.08 percent. The 10-year government bond went down two basis points to 2.43 percent.

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