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Market heavyweights help lift Seoul stocks

Jan 06,2018
Korean stocks finished higher Friday as market heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics, as well as financial shares, advanced, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 31.06 points, or 1.26 percent, to close at 2,497.52. Trade volume was moderate at 305 million shares worth 6.2 trillion won ($5.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 493 to 297.

The local bourse opened higher, taking a cue from overnight gains on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed above 25,000 points for the first time.

“U.S. semiconductor shares continued to advance on the back of expectations over strong earnings, a positive factor for the Seoul bourse as well,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Institutional investors and foreigners bought a net 101 billion won and 246 billion won worth of local stocks, respectively, while individuals offloaded 371 billion won.

Blue chips were strong, with top 10 shares all showing growth on Friday’s bourse.

Samsung Electronics, the top cap here, advanced 2.04 percent to end at 2,606,000 won. SK Hynix, a major chipmaker, was up 2.85 percent to 79,300 won.

KB Financial increased 1.75 percent to 64,100 won, and Samsung Life Insurance moved up 0.83 percent to 121,500 won.

Hyundai Motor, Korea’s No. 1 carmaker, advanced 1.71 percent to end at 149,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors gained 1.27 percent to 31,950 won. Hyundai Mobis, the largest auto-parts maker, remained unchanged at 246,500 won.

LG Chem, the county’s leading chemical firm, rose 2.4 percent to 405,000 won, and steelmaker Posco edged up 0.14 percent to 368,000 won.

Among losers were tobacco maker KT&G, game maker Netmarble Games and oil refiner S-Oil.

Secondary Kosdaq closed at 828.03, up 20.02 points or 2.48 percent from the previous trading day.

Pharmaceutical companies were strong.

Celltrion grew 6.76 percent to 266,900 won, Sillajen jumped 8.46 percent to 100,000 won and Medytox inched up 0.55 percent to 472,800 won. Entertainment giant CJ E&M stood still.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year Treasury bonds lost 4.3 basis points to 2.099 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds fell 1.6 basis points to 2.343 percent.

BY KIM JEE-HEE, YONHAP [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]