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Market closes higher on hopes for summit

Apr 28,2018
Korea’s stock market closed higher Friday as investor sentiment was boosted by the historic summit between the North and South’s leaders. The local currency appreciated against the greenback.

The benchmark Kospi index advanced 16.76 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,492.40. Trade volume was moderate at 8 trillion won ($7.44 billion).

Analysts said Seoul shares gained ground as investors cheered the summit between Seoul and Pyongyang held on Friday. The meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Joint Security Area of Panmunjom is anticipated to ease geopolitical tensions between the two countries.

“Should there be significant results from the summit, the undervaluation of South Korean shares will also be eased,” said Yang Ki-in, a researcher at Shinhan Investment.

Foreigners scooped up a net 147 billion won, with retail investors buying a net 256 billion won. Institutions sold more shares than they bought at 396 billion won.

Tech shares closed higher, with Samsung Electronics moving up 1.65 percent to 2,650,000 won and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix adding 0.69 percent at 87,100 won. LG Electronics climbed 0.5 percent to 101,500 won.

Trade of Samsung Electronics’ shares will be suspended until next Thursday due to the planned 50:1 stock split. Pharmaceutical shares also gained ground, with Samsung BioLogics rising 1.5 percent to 506,000 won and Celltrion soaring 7.59 percent to 276,500 won.

Carmakers advanced as well, with Hyundai Motor rising 0.96 percent to 158,000 won and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis adding 2.28 percent to 246,500 won. Kia Motors gained 3.7 percent to 32,200 won.

Steelmakers, on the other hand, lost ground, with Posco slipping 2.09 percent to 351,000 won and Korea Zinc falling 0.7 percent to 428,500 won. Hyundai Steel also moved down 1.47 percent to 53,800 won.

The secondary Kosdaq climbed 7.10 points, or 0.81 percent, to 886.49. The 1.6 percent rise of the U.S. Nasdaq weighed on the tech-heavy market’s incline.

Institutions and foreigners were net buyers, purchasing 35.6 billion won and 20.1 billion won each. Individuals offloaded a net 46.9 billion won. The local currency closed at 1,076.60 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.3 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 3.3 basis points to 2.20 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds decreased 4.9 basis points to 2.70 percent.

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