+ A

Stocks continue gains thanks to tech and steel

Jan 04,2018
Korean stocks extended their gains to a fourth day Wednesday, as investors scooped up market heavyweights, such as Samsung Electronics and steelmakers, analysts said.

The benchmark Kospi rose 6.7 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 2,486.35. Trade volume was moderate at 327 million shares worth 6 trillion won ($5.6 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 408 to 401.

The local stock market opened higher on the back of overnight gains on Wall Street.

“The rise of U.S. tech shares with expectations over improved earnings was a positive factor for the local bourse,” said Seo Sang-young, research at Kiwoom Securities.

Foreign investors bought a net 401.2 billion won worth of local stocks, while institutional investors and individuals dumped a net 398.4 billion won and 24.3 billion won, respectively.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 1.18 percent to end at 2,581,000 won, and SK Hynix, a major chipmaker, rose 1.44 percent to 77,700 won.

Steel shares also led the bourse, with Posco, No. 1 steelmaker, soaring 5.46 percent to finish at 357,500 won amid expectations over strong earnings. Its rival Hyundai Steel jumped 2.62 percent to end at 58,700 won.

Hyundai Motor, Korea’s top carmaker, climbed 0.67 percent to 150,500 won, whereas its smaller affiliate Kia Motors shed 0.61 percent to finish at 32,600 won.

LG Chem, a major chemicals firm, ended 0.36 percent lower at 409,500 won, and AmorePacific, the leading cosmetics firm, moved down 0.32 percent to 311,500 won.

Naver, the country’s largest online portal operator, surrendered 1.58 percent to 871,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq pushed up 9.86 points, or 1.21 percent from Tuesday’s close, to 822.31. The strong performance of the U.S. Nasdaq and rosy expectations on the government push to support Kosdaq companies contributed to the uplift.

Pharmaceuticals on the list’s top were strong: Celltrion jumped for the fourth consecutive trading day by 9.21 percent to 246,700 won on Wednesday. Affiliate Celltrion Healthcare also added 2.62 percent to 109,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,064.50 won against the U.S. dollar, adding 3.3 won from the previous session’s close. This was the first time in five sessions the Korean won weakened on the greenback.

Three-year government bonds pushed up one basis point to 2.13 percent on Wednesday while the 10-year yield added two basis points to 2.51 percent.

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