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Markets rebound from days of panic selling

Feb 09,2018
Both Korean indexes bounced back from declines on Thursday, with the Korea Exchange even halting trade on the Kosdaq for five minutes after the index surged 4 percent compared to the previous day.

The benchmark Kospi climbed 11.06 points, or 0.46 percent, to 2,407.62 on high expectations for Korean exports and Chinese demand.

The secondary Kosdaq turned around from seven days of declines. It jumped 31.98 points, or 3.85 percent, to close at 861.94.

The halt in trading, called a sidecar, was the second this year. The last was on Jan. 12.

On the Kosdaq, a sidecar is called when the index surges more than 6 percent compared to the previous day for more than a minute, or when the Kosdaq 150 Index surges more than 3 percent for more than a minute.

The biggest contributor to the surge was the index’s largest company by market, Celltrion, which fluctuated sharply Thursday. Within 15 minutes of opening, shares fell more than 6 percent but bounced back by the end of the day. The biopharmaceutical maker closed up 6.02 percent at 271,400 won ($250). Subsidiary Celltrion Healthcare advanced 8.58 percent to 121,500 won.

The volatility might be explained by high prospects for Celltrion, Starting today, the company will trade on the Kospi.

Foreigners were net buyers on the Kospi Thursday after selling for seven straight sessions, while individual investors remained net buyers. They scooped up a combined 334 billion won in stocks. Institutional investors, on the other hand, offloaded 348 billion won in shares.

Large-cap stocks advanced across the board. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.44 percent to 2.3 million won, and rival SK Hynix jumped 3.94 percent to 73,900 won.

Among decliners were steelmaker Posco, which fell 1.23 percent to 360,500 won, and state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corporation, which declined 2.11 percent to 34,800 won.

On the Kosdaq, foreign and institutional investors drove up prices. Institutional investors purchased the most shares, 62.8 billion won, followed by foreigners with 5 billion won. Retail investors were net sellers, offloading 138.9 billion won in shares.

The local currency closed at 1,087.90 won against the dollar, up 1.30 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose two basis points to 2.27 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds climbed three basis points to 2.74 percent.

BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]