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Beijing summit helps Kospi, Kosdaq move up

Mar 30,2018
Korean stocks closed higher Thursday as investor sentiment was boosted by eased geopolitical tensions on the Korean Peninsula following the release of a date for a third inter-Korean summit. The local currency gained against the U.S. greenback.

The benchmark Kospi advanced 17.08 points, or 0.71 percent, to 2,436.37. Trade volume was moderate at 6.8 trillion won ($6.37 billion).

Despite weak investor sentiment sparked by Wall Street losses, Seoul shares managed to gain ground as investors sought bargains after the main bourse closed 1.34 percent lower on Wednesday.

Rising hopes for the settlement of geopolitical tensions surrounding the Korean Peninsula also gave support to investor sentiment, analysts said.

“The summit between [leaders of] North Korea and China earlier in the week positively impacted investor sentiment,” Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities, added.

Foreigners offloaded a net 271.6 billion won, while retail investors scooped up a net 224 billion won. Institutions bought more shares than they sold at net 34 billion won.

Tech shares closed on a mixed note, with Samsung Electronics adding 0.7 percent to 2,452,000 won and SK Hynix closing unchanged at 80,300 won. LG Electronics also closed flat at 109,000 won.

Kumho Tire crashed 12.35 percent to 3,550 won amid rising concerns over the company going into court receivership.

No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor plunged 5.28 percent to 143,500 won, and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis edged down 2.87 percent to 254,000 won. Kia Motors shed 3.48 percent to 31,850 won.

Pharmaceutical shares gained ground, with Celltrion rising a whopping 9.5 percent to 317,000 won and Samsung BioLogics climbing 4.52 percent to 486,000 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical closed 1.57 percent higher at 517,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 15.02 points, or 1.77 percent, to 865.99. The tech-heavy market ended in positive terrain as large-cap pharmaceutical shares rose.

Foreigners and individuals were net sellers, offloading 16.7 billion won and 36.4 billion won each. Institutions purchased a net 69.6 billion won.

The local currency closed at 1,065.90 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.9 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 0.5 basis points to 2.23 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds rose 0.2 basis points to 2.64 percent.

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