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Korean shares rise as Chinese shares recover

Oct 23,2018
Korean shares ended higher Monday for the second consecutive session helped by institutional buying and a recovery in Chinese share prices. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi climbed 5.45 points, or 0.25 percent, to end at 2,161.71 despite starting lower than Friday’s close.

Analysts said the Chinese stock market’s rise helped Korean shares end in positive terrain despite geopolitical concerns and offloading by foreign investors.

“The Kospi started down due to U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement to pull out from the mid-range nuclear missile treaty but [the index] ended positive as the Chinese stock market rose over 4%,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. “The rise was limited by foreign selling.”

Han Ji-young, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities, also said the main index got a boost as Chinese stocks rose and the Korean won appreciated vis-a-vis the greenback.

On Monday, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 4.09 percent.

Overseas investors sold a net 111.1 billion won ($98.3 million) worth of shares on the main exchange, while retail investors scooped up a net 64.8 billion won and institutions purchased a net 44.9 billion won. Large-cap stocks ended mixed across the board.

Tech shares were down, with Samsung Electronics falling 0.80 percent to 43,550 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix down 1.13 percent to 70,000 won. Top steelmaker Posco also fell, going down 1.30% to close at 266,500 won.

Pharmaceutical companies also ended down with Celltrion dipping 1.65 percent to 268,500 won, and Samsung BioLogics, the bio-pharmaceutical arm of Samsung, declining 1.32 percent to 447,000 won.

Meanwhile, top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 2.16 percent to 118,000 won, and its sister company Kia Motors edged 0.17 percent higher to end at 29,450 won.

LG Chem, Korea’s top chemical company, was up 2.27 percent to 337,500 won.

The Kosdaq also closed higher, rising 3.67 points, or 0.50 percent, at 744.15 led by institutional buying of IT-related shares.

The Korean won closed at 1,128.40 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.7 won from Friday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds increased 2 basis points to 2.01 percent, and the return on ten-year bonds gained 2.6 basis points to 2.34 percent.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN, YONHAP [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]