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Kospi inches up after Wall Street makes gains

Apr 06,2018
Korea’s main bourse finished higher Thursday after a three-day losing streak, as fear over a full-blown trade war between the United States and China receded. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi gained 29.46 points, or 1.22 percent, to close at 2,437.52. Trade volume was high at 7.2 trillion won ($6.8 billion).

The local market opened higher tracking overnight gains on Wall Street, rebounding from the recent losses triggered by the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

“Though it is unlikely that a trade war will take place, it is widely viewed as a factor that could raise market volatility,” said Yoon Yeo-sam, an analyst at Meritz Securities.

After the two countries unveiled their respective tariff plans, Larry Kudlow, U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic adviser, said Wednesday the proposed duties on China may not go into effect.

Institutions and foreigners bought a net 196 billion won and 72 billion won worth of local stocks, while individuals dumped 263.5 billion won.

Shares across the board traded in positive terrain, with market kingpin Samsung Electronics jumping 3.88 percent to close at 2,437,000 won one day ahead of the release of its first-quarter earnings guidance.

SK Hynix, a major chipmaker, was up 3.11 percent to 82,900 won.

Shipbuilders and shipping companies also led the gains after the government rolled out its mid-term restructuring plan for the country’s maritime industry, which has been undergoing a bruising time following massive losses.

Hyundai Merchant Marine jumped a whopping 14.83 percent to 5,150 won, and Hyundai Heavy Industries advanced 7.02 percent to 129,500 won.

Auto giant Hyundai Motor, meanwhile, fell 1.6 percent to 154,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors also surrendered 0.61 percent to finish at 32,350 won.

The secondary Kosdaq also gained 6.42 points, or 0.74 percent, to 868.93, buoyed by large-cap pharmaceutical shares.

Institutions and individuals were net buyers, each purchasing 14.6 billion won and 9.3 billion won. Foreigners offloaded net 1.3 billion won.

The local currency ended at 1,059.70 won against the greenback, down 0.1 percent from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 0.7 basis points to 2.18 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds increased 1.6 basis points to 2.63 percent.

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