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Local stocks finish high on Chinese trade news

May 19,2018
Korean stocks finished higher on Friday, as institutional buyers scooped up large-cap shares after China offered to reduce its trade surplus with the United States. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi added 12.2 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 2,460.65. Trade volume was moderately high at 6.3 trillion won ($6.1 billion).

The Seoul index opened higher despite losses on Wall Street. On Thursday, the S&P shed 0.09 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.21 percent, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 0.22 percent.

“Eased worries over the U.S.-China trade war lifted major Asian stocks, including Korean shares,” said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

Institutions were net buyers, purchasing 153.9 billion won more than they sold. Foreigners and individuals were net sellers, with each offloading 4.11 billion won and 154.1 billion won. Most large-cap shares closed higher.

Tech shares ended up, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics adding 0.2 percent to close at 49,500 won after opening lower. SK Hynix, a major chipmaker, gained 1.38 percent to end at 87,900 won.

Shares of pharmaceutical companies gained ground, with Samsung BioLogics, Samsung’s biopharmaceutical affiliate, moving up 2.64 percent to end at 408,500 won. A day earlier, Samsung BioLogics held the first session with financial authorities to review a regulatory probe into suspected accounting fraud at the company. Celltrion also added 0.93 percent to close at 270,000 won.

Auto stocks ended higher, with leading carmaker Hyundai Motor adding 0.33 percent to 150,000 won and its sister company, Kia Motors, moving up 0.75 percent to 33,750 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis was up 0.63 percent to 239,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 13.83 points, or 1.62 percent, to 869.45. The tech-heavy index closed in positive terrain as institutions and foreigners went bargain-purchasing on large-cap pharmaceutical and IT shares.

Institutions and foreigners each bought a net 80 billion won and 107.8 billion won, while individuals sold a net 185.4 billion won.

By sector, pharmaceuticals rose 1.2 percent while semiconductors gained 2.4 percent.

The local currency closed at 1,077.7 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.6 won from Thursday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 3.1 basis points to 2.23 percent.

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