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Kospi breaks spell, finally starts to climb again

Jan 13,2018
Korean stocks finished higher Friday as institutions bought undervalued stocks following a correction after a Wall Street rally lifted investor sentiment. The won firmed against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi increased 8.51 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 2,496.42.

Trade volume was moderate at 432.73 million shares worth 8.63 trillion won ($8.1 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 472 to 362.

The local market ended a three-day losing streak to recover as institutions went bargain hunting. Wall Street closed at a record high Thursday as a rise in oil prices to a three-year high lifted energy stocks.

“The latest export data showed robust growth, giving a positive signal to investors,” Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said. “With a lack of strong upward momentum, sectors showed different movement ahead of the earnings season.”

Institutions bought a net 154.7 billion won worth of stocks, while foreigners and retail investors offloaded a net 107.9 billion won and 87.3 billion won, respectively.

Tech shares had a mixed day. Top market cap Samsung Electronics inched down 0.08 percent to 2,410,000 won, marking five consecutive days of falls. On the other hand, major chipmaker SK Hynix rose 2.48 percent to 74,400 won, cutting a straight four days of losses.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor slipped 0.65 percent to 154,000 won. Auto parts manufacturer Hyundai Mobis lost 1.39 percent to 247,500 won. Sister affiliate Kia Motors went down 1.23 percent to 32,100 won.

Top steelmaker Posco jumped 5.46 percent to 386,500 won. Samsung Biologics, Samsung’s bio affiliate, gained 4.79 percent to 416,000 won.

The Kosdaq rose 2.41 percent to end at 873.05 points on a sharp surge in leading bio shares, helped by the government’s announcement of tax incentives and eased listing rules.

It soared nearly 4 percent shortly before 2 p.m., leading to a sidecar order, a five-minute trading suspension adopted in case of a sudden market fluctuation.

Celltrion jumped 11.24 percent to 341,500 won alongside affiliate Celltrion Healthcare which advanced 15.16 percent to 148,100 won. Sillajen added 1.45 percent to 98,100 won.

The Korean won closed at 1,064.8 won against the U.S. dollar, down 7.2 won from the previous session’s close.

Returns on three-year government bonds rose two basis points to 2.17 percent on Friday while the 10-year bond yield added three basis points to 2.62 percent.

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