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Korean stocks gain after last week’s slump

Sept 11,2018
Korea’s main bourse closed higher Monday as investors went bargain hunting following last week’s slump over trade woes. The Korean won depreciated against the greenback.

The benchmark Kospi added 7.08 points, or 0.31 percent, to close at 2,288.66. Trade volume was moderate at 5.4 trillion won ($4.78 billion).

The index started on a weak note, but it rebounded in the late afternoon, as foreigners net bought before the market closed.

U.S. stock indices fell Friday after President Donald Trump ratcheted up his threats to impose higher tariffs on Chinese goods, while a strong U.S. jobs report reinforced investors’ expectations for more interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

“The stock market moved slightly up on bargain hunting amid lingering worries surrounding the brewing trade war between the United States and China,” said Lee Jae-seung, an analyst at Samsung Securities.

Foreigners scooped up a net 112.4 billion won worth of stocks. Institutions dumped a net 115.0 billion won while retail investors shed a net 41.1 billion won.

Tech heavyweights rebounded after heavy losses last week.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics gained 1.34 percent to 45,500 won, and SK Hynix, a global chipmaker, climbed 0.79 percent to 76,500 won. Construction shares rallied on hopes for cross-border development projects, with the leaders of the two Koreas set to meet for a summit in Pyongyang next week.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction jumped 7.85 percent to 68,700 won, and GS Engineering & Construction jumped 5.26 percent to 52,000 won. In contrast, auto shares were down, as investors tried to lock in gains from a recent rally.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor retreated 1.5 percent to 131,000 won, and its parts maker Hyundai Mobis sank 4.22 percent to 227,000 won.

Cosmetics also saw bearish trade. Industry leader Amorepacific decreased 2.09 percent to 257,500 won, and its smaller rival LG Household & Health Care slipped 2.12 percent to 1,200,000 won.

The bio and tech-heavy Kosdaq fell 2.70 points, or 0.33 percent, to 816.16, dragged down by a 0.25 percent fall in the U.S. Nasdaq and institutional and foreign selling of IT shares. The local currency closed at 1,128.4 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.6 won from Friday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 0.1 basis points to 1.92 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds gained 1 basis point to 2.26 percent.

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