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Both Kospi and Kosdaq get post-holiday fillip

Feb 20,2018
Korean shares finished higher Monday as institutional and foreign investors scooped up local large-cap shares, taking a cue from overnight gains on Wall Street, analysts said. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi climbed 20.99 points, or 0.87 percent, to reach 2.442.82. The gains came amidst concerns over reports of possible high U.S. tariffs on steel imports.

On Friday local time, Wall Street rallied to close higher. The Dow Jones industrial average ended 0.1 percent higher for a sixth straight gain, with the S&P 500 adding 0.1 percent.

“Local stocks are forecast to maintain upward momentum on the back of gains on major global stock markets,” said Kim Byung-yeon, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

Large-cap stocks had a mixed day, with insurance leading the gains. Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance jumped 4.19 percent to 286,000 won ($267), while DB Insurance climbed 2.22 percent to 69,000 won.

Major bio company Celltrion, added 1.28 percent to 316,500 won.

Tech stocks also ended on a mixed note, with top cap Samsung Electronics ending at 2,419,000 won, down 1.27 percent from the previous session’s close to end a three-day winning streak. Global chipmaker SK Hynix lost 1.42 percent to 76,500 won. Samsung’s smaller local rival LG Electronics, meanwhile, moved up 5.45 percent to 102,500 won.

Auto shares also experienced mixed trading, with leading automaker Hyundai Motor adding 0.32 percent to 155,000 won and its sister company, Kia Motors, gaining 1.53 percent at 33,100 won. Hyundai Mobis, South Korea’s largest auto parts maker, meanwhile, lost 0.45 percent to 223,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 27.78 points, or 3.28 percent, to 875.81. The U.S. Nasdaq’s incline over the lunar New Year holidays helped the tech-heavy market end positive.

Institutions and foreigners were also heavy buyers here, purchasing 215.6 billion won and 114.9 billion won worth of shares respectively. Individuals were net sellers, and offloaded 316.7 billion won in stocks.

Pharmaceuticals enjoyed large gains across sector. Celltrion Healthcare, a subsidiary of Celltrion, jumped 8.61 percent to 129,900.

The local currency closed at 1,067.6 won against the U.S. dollar, down 9.6 won from Friday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 3.7 basis points to 2.30 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds gained 3.5 basis points to 2.80 percent.

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