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Foreign, institutional buying lifts Seoul stocks

Jan 24,2018
Korean shares ended higher Tuesday as foreigners and institutions turned net buyers. The won fell against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi index rose 34.49 points, or 1.38 percent, to 2,536.60.

On Tuesday, foreign and institutional investors bought a total 554.67 billion won ($515.84 million) worth of stocks after dumping a total of 249.74 billion won a session earlier.

Large-cap stocks advanced across the board, with tech stocks leading the gains.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.91 percent to 2,458,000 won and LG Electronics added 0.46 percent to 109,500 won despite the U.S. government’s announcement of its decision to impose safeguard tariffs on imported washers.

Despite concerns on trade restrictions from the United States, the House’s approval to fund the federal government to end a three-day government shutdown and the International Monetary Fund’s raising of world’s economic growth rate projections from 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent positively influenced Seoul’s bourse, according to Korea Exchange.

Chipmaker SK Hynix climbed 0.28 percent to 71,300 won, leading steelmaker Posco advanced 0.66 percent to 380,000 won, and state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corporation was up 1.15 percent to 35,050 won.

Korea’s largest mobile carrier SK Telecom and cosmetics giant AmorePacific stood still.

Among decliners, top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.92 percent to 161,000 won, and leading auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis declined 0.56 percent to 268,000 won.

By sectors, securities were strong, strengthening by 6.2 percent, followed by banks, medical and electronics.

Secondary Kosdaq market closed at 894.43, up 21.34 points or 2.44 percent from the previous trading day, after two consecutive days of slumps.

Institutional investors net bought 147.5 billion won worth shares and foreigners loaded 101.7 billion won shares while retailer investors offloaded 231.9 billion won of their holdings.

Top listed company Celltrion grew 6.56 percent to 299,000 won, Sillajen jumped 10.47 percent to 115,000 won and Medytox advanced 8.54 percent to 594,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,070.20 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.10 won from the previous session’s close.

The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.1 basis points to 2.192 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds remained flat at 2.461 percent.

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