+ A

Markets calm ahead of consumer price report

Feb 14,2018
Seoul’s main bourse closed higher Tuesday as foreign investors turned to net buyers on upbeat investor sentiment after Wall Street extended its rebound from last week’s massive sell-off. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi gained 9.81 points, or 0.41 percent from the previous session, to close at 2,395.19. Trade volume was moderate at 417.09 million shares worth 7.23 trillion won ($6.66 billion).

Foreigners bought more shares than they sold off after major U.S. indexes rose for a second session in a row Monday following their biggest fall in two years.

“U.S. shares recouped losses from last week’s steep fall on bargain hunting ahead of the release of consumer price data, boosting the global equity market,” Min Byung-gyu, an analyst at Yuanta Securities, said.

Foreign investors bought a net 330.03 billion won in local shares, while institutional and retail investors each sold off 186.07 billion won and 165.85 billion won.

Tech heavyweights rallied for a second day. Samsung Electronics jumped 3.98 percent to 2,377,000 won, and SK Hynix, a memory chip maker, vaulted 4.3 percent to 77,700 won.

Bio shares had a mixed day. Celltrion, a major pharmaceutical company, fell 2.81 percent to 294,000 won, surrendering some of its gains from the previous session.

SK Chemicals, a maker of vaccines, advanced 3.88 percent to 107,000 won after signing a $155 million licensing deal with French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Pasteur.

Auto shares were down. Hyundai Motor, Korea’s largest automaker, fell 0.97 percent to 152,500 won, and its parts supplier Hyundai Mobis dropped 4.06 percent to 224,500 won.

The tech-heavy Kosdaq index fell 13.85 points, or 1.64 percent, to close at 829.39. Climbing earlier in the session with the help of gains on Nasdaq, it closed in negative terrain as foreign and institutional investors were net sellers, offloading a combined 143.8 billion won. Retail investors were net buyers, purchasing 177 billion won worth of stocks.

Two days after Celltrion moved from the Kosdaq to the Kospi, the pharmaceutical sector continued to suffer on the secondary index, losing 2.7 percent.

The local currency closed at 1,084.5 won against the dollar, down 0.1 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds shed 2.4 basis points to 2.28 percent, and returns on 10-year bonds retreated 2.6 basis points to 2.78 percent.

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