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Seoul stocks up after summit date announced

May 12,2018
Seoul’s main bourse rose for a second day in a row on Friday, pushed up after the date and location for a summit between the United States and North Korea were confirmed overnight.

The benchmark Kospi rose 13.55 points, or 0.55 percent, from the previous trading day to close at 2,477.71.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced overnight that the meeting between him and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place on June 12 in Singapore.

The U.S. consumer price index climbed a smaller-than-expected 0.2 percent in April, granting relief from fears of a faster interest rate rise by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

“Reduced inflation pressure in the United States encouraged foreign net buying,” said Seo Sang-young from Kiwoom Securities. “Expectations for the fixed Trump-Kim meeting also affected the South Korean bourse.”

Foreign investors on Friday scooped up 200.9 billion won ($187.64 million) in Korean stocks while institutional investors net bought 184.4 billion won. Retail investors offloaded 418.2 billion won in local shares.

By sector, pharmaceutical shares pushed up by 4.3 percent while securities shares increased 3.8 percent.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics closed the day lower than the previous session, down 0.58 percent to 51,300 won.

Posco, the country’s top steelmaker, inched down 0.42 percent to 358,000 won. Portal giant Naver edged down 0.42 percent as well to 717,000 won.

Cosmetic shares showed mixed movement on Friday.

Amorepacific nudged down 0.15 percent to 342,000 won while LG Household & Health Care edged up 0.31 percent to 1,313,000 won.

Auto shares were in positive terrain.

Top automotive company Hyundai Motor inched up 0.66 percent to 153,000 won. Its sister company Kia Motors closed the session at 33,900 won, up 1.35 percent from Thursday. Affiliate and the country’s top parts maker Hyundai Mobis advanced 2.38 percent to 237,000 won.

Celltrion, top pharmaceutical firm, nudged up 0.39 percent to 260,000 won. Top oil refiner SK Innovation increased by 0.99 percent to 205,000 won.

Top mobile game publisher Netmarble remained unchanged at 140,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq extended its rally into third trading day on Friday, up 11.00 points, or 1.29 percent, to close the day at 865.93.

The local currency closed at 1,069.3 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.8 won from the previous session’s close.

BY CHOI HYUNG-JO, YONHAP [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]