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Kospi breaks losing streak, won appreciates

June 21,2018
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Korea’s main bourse closed higher for the first time in six sessions Wednesday, as foreign investors scooped up large-cap shares despite persistent worries of trade friction between the United States and China. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi added 23.8 points, or 1.02 percent, to close at 2,363.91. Trade volume was moderate at 6.8 trillion won ($6.1 billion).

Foreigners were net buyers, snatching up 110.5 billion won after a six-day selling spree. Individuals offloaded a net 115.4 billion won while institutions sold a net 16.8 billion won worth of local stocks.

Analysts said Seoul stocks opened higher despite uncertainties surrounding global trade.

“Global markets tumbled on the effects of the U.S.-China trade war, but some shares on the local stock market rebounded on hopes of good earnings,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Most large caps closed higher on the Kospi, with bio and tech shares pushing up the main index. Top cap Samsung Electronics was unchanged at 47,000 won, while global chipmaker SK Hynix gained 4.4 percent to 87,800 won.

Shares of biopharmaceutical companies gained ground, with Samsung BioLogics, Samsung’s biopharmaceutical affiliate, jumping 10.24 percent to end at 420,000 won. Celltrion rose 3.3 percent to close at 297,000 won.

Construction and bank shares were major winners as well.

Auto stocks closed in negative terrain. Top automaker Hyundai Motor gave up 1.52 percent to close at 129,500 won, and its sister company Kia Motors went down 0.63 percent to 31,500 won. The secondary Kosdaq gained 24.78 points, or 3.04 percent, to 840.17. The tech-heavy index was buoyed by the 1.5 percent incline of the U.S. Nasdaq Biotech index as well as bargain buying by foreigners.

Institutions bought a net 101.8 billion won, while foreigners bought a net 155.7 billion won. Retailers sold a net 261.9 billion won.

Large-cap pharmaceutical shares won. Celltrion Healthcare rose 6.69 percent to 111,600 won. Major industry player Medytox also jumped 5.52 percent to 776,600 won. TV production and broadcast shares jumped 6.2 percent across sector.

The won closed at 1,105.1 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4 won from the previous session’s close, after depreciating for five straight sessions.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds shed 0.1 basis points to 2.16 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds lost 0.2 basis points to 2.62 percent.


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