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Kospi rises on warmer South-North relations

Sept 28,2018
Korean stocks ended higher Thursday as investor sentiment was boosted by improved relations between the two Koreas. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi moved up 16.26 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,355.43. Trade volume was moderate at 7.12 trillion won ($6.4 billion).

It was the first trading session this week as the market was closed until Wednesday for the Chuseok harvest holidays.

The Kospi closed above 2,350 Thursday for the first time since June 26, when the market ended at 2,350.92.

Analysts said local shares closed higher as investors were buoyed by the peaceful atmosphere between Seoul and Pyongyang.

The main bourse rose despite the U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement on Wednesday that it would raise interest rates by 0.25 percentage points for the third time this year, which sent most Asian stocks down.

Foreigners bought more shares than they sold at a net 229 billion won, while retail investors offloaded a net 138 billion won. Institutions sold a net 132 billion won.

Carmakers closed higher, with Hyundai Motor increasing 1.16 percent to 130,500 won and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis adding 2.02 percent to close at 227,500 won. Kia Motors gained 2.03 percent, ending at 35,250 won.

Steelmaker Posco rose 0.33 percent to 305,500 won and Korea Zinc climbed 3.29 percent to 439,500 won.

Chemical shares gained ground, with LG Chem advancing 0.82 percent to 370,000 won and LG Household & Health Care rising 4.93 percent to 1,278,000 won. Major oil refiner S-Oil added 4.21 percent, closing at 136,000 won, while cosmetics maker Amorepacific moved up 2.41 percent to 255,000 won.

Pharmaceutical firms were mixed, with Celltrion falling 0.5 percent to 301,000 won and Samsung BioLogics moving up 3.02 percent to 546,000 won.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics edged up 0.21 percent to 47,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq climbed 5.17 points, or 0.62 percent, to 833.01. The bio and tech-heavy index rose on foreign buying of major pharmaceutical and IT shares.

The Korean won closed at 1,112.50 won against the U.S. dollar, down 2.80 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year bonds shed 1.6 basis points to 2.01 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds decreased 3.7 basis points to 2.38 percent.

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