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Market buoyed by strong electronics shares

May 24,2018
Korea’s main index ended higher Wednesday with strong electronics shares despite investors taking a wait-and-see stance amid falling U.S. stocks and the U.S-South Korea summit on Tuesday. The Korean won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi moved up 6.34 points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,471.91. Trade volume was heavy at 9.13 trillion won ($8.4 billion).

Foreigners were net buyers, purchasing 285.8 billion won more than they sold. Institutions offloaded a net 264.1 billion won, while individuals sold 78.7 billion won more than they sold.

Investors bought large-cap electronics shares as U.S. semiconductor shares rallied.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics jumped 3.60 percent to 51,800 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix climbed 6.96 percent to 95,300 won. Samsung SDI, Samsung’s battery-making affiliate, also jumped 3.28 percent to 204,500 won.

Among other gainers, leading chemical firm LG Chem advanced 1.48 percent to 343,500 won. Korea’s biggest wireless services provider SK Telecom was up 0.90 percent to 224,500 won.

But top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 3.02 percent to 144,500 won, while leading steelmaker Posco declined 2.35 percent to 352,500 won. Cosmetics giant Amorepacific backtracked 0.30 percent to 328,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 3.8 points, or 0.44 percent, to 869.16. Despite a 0.4 percent incline in the U.S. Nasdaq Biotech index, the Kosdaq ended in negative terrain as institutions and foreigners sold pharmaceutical shares en masse.

Foreigners sold a net 32.5 billion won and institutions discarded net 10.8 billion won worth of stocks. Individuals bought a net 61.7 billion won.

Large-cap pharmaceutical shares were down.

Celltrion Healthcare fell 2.48 percent to 90,300 won, while affiliate Celltrion Pharm dropped 4 percent to 88,800 won. SillaJen shed 3.25 percent to 74,400 won.

Shares of bio firm Viromed, however, jumped 14.13 percent to 256,000 won after it announced that one of its drugs for diabetes was designated as a Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

The local currency closed at 1,080.70 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.70 won from the previous session.

Bond prices ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.6 basis points to 2.24 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds declined 2.2 basis points to 2.75 percent.

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