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Kospi breaks records as firms post 2017 profits

Jan 26,2018
Seoul’s main bourse reached a record high on Thursday, pushed up by the improved investor sentiment thanks to a number of favorable events such as leading firms posting record-high profits from last year.

The benchmark Kospi advanced 24.23 points, or 0.95 percent, to close the day at 2,562.23.

Korean companies such as SK Hynix and Naver announced their regulatory filings on Thursday, many of them showing record profits from the fourth quarter last year. It was also reported that Korean economy experienced 3.1 percent growth in 2017.

Foreigners and institutions became net buyers of the local stocks on the positive indicators.

Foreign investors scooped up 364.4 billion won ($342.54 million) and institutional investors net purchased 302.2 billion won in Korean stocks. Retail investors offloaded 701.9 billion won in shares.

By sector, machinery rose 2.3 percent and construction went up 2.1 percent. Electrical and electronics share increased 2.0 percent.

Large-cap shares were on the rise on Thursday.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 1.86 percent to 2,513,000 Thursday. SK Hynix, Korea’s second largest chipmaker, jumped 4.70 percent on the back of the report that it posted a record-high profit from the last quarter last year.

Posco, Korea’s top steel maker, pushed up 1.29 percent to 392,000 won.

Cosmetic companies were also in the positive.

LG Household & Health Care gained 2.09 percent to 1,174,000 won. AmorePacific also added 1.47 percent to 310,000 won.

Samsung SDI, battery-making arm of Samsung Group, edged up 0.96 percent to 210,000 won.

Auto shares were mixed across the board.

Hyundai Motor, Korea’s top automotive company, climbed 1.28 percent to 158,500 won. Kia Motors, second largest auto company by sale and sister company of Hyundai, remained fixed at 33,900 won.

Hyundai Mobis, affiliate and parts maker, fell 0.74 percent to 268,000 won.

Financial shares were in negative terrain.

KB Financial Group, Korea’s top financial holding company by asset size, pushed down 1.33 percent to 66,600 won.

The secondary Kosdaq extended its winning streak into third trading day, up 3.83 points, or 0.43 percent, to close at 898.60.

The local currency closed at 1,058.6 won against the U.S. dollar.

BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]