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Market rebounds from trade war trepidations

June 23,2018
Korea’s main bourse closed higher on Friday as foreign investors scooped up local shares to offset a selling spree by individuals and institutions amid ongoing U.S.-China trade frictions. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi gained 19.39 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 2,357.22. Trade volume was moderate at 6.5 trillion won ($6 billion).

Foreign investors purchased a net 5.8 billion won while institutions offloaded a net 24.2 billion won and individuals sold a net 9 billion won worth of shares.

The Kospi initially opened lower on weak share prices of market heavyweights and overnight losses on Wall Street. However, the local index recovered as bio and electricity shares won.

Large caps on the main bourse closed higher.

Tech shares ended higher, with top cap Samsung Electronics adding 0.43 percent to close at 47,250 won, continuing a two-day winning streak. SK Hynix, a major chipmaker, added 1.13 percent to end at 89,500 won.

Bio shares also pushed the index up. Samsung BioLogics, Samsung’s biopharmaceutical affiliate, jumped 5.42 percent to end at 437,500 won, and Celltrion was up 1.2 percent to close at 295,500 won.

Investors picked up utilities and electricity that suffered losses in the previous session, with Korea Electric Power Corporation surging 6.08 percent to end at 34,900 won.

Auto stocks also closed higher, with leading automaker Hyundai Motor moving up 2.36 percent to 130,000 won and its sister company, Kia Motors, rising 1.62 percent to 31,300 won. Hyundai Mobis was unchanged at 217,000 won.

The tech-heavy Kosdaq gained 4.05 points, or 0.49 percent, to 830.27 despite heavy individual selling.

Individual investors sold a net 32 billion won while foreigners sold a net 16 billion won. Institutions bought a net 48.1 billion won.

The Kosdaq was also buoyed by bullish biopharmaceutical shares. Celltrion Healthcare rose 2.39 percent to 111,400 won, while Celltrion Pharm grew 4.21 percent to 89,100 won.

Game and entertainment companies also won. Leading media company CJ E&M grew 2.31 percent to 97,600 won.

The local currency closed at 1,107.40 won against the U.S. dollar, down 5.4 won from Thursday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended on a mixed note. The yield on three-year bonds shed 0.2 basis points to 2.15 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds gained 1.4 basis points to 2.61 percent.

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