+ A

Stock rebound tempered by ex-dividend sales

Dec 28,2018
Korean shares edged up after a choppy ex-dividend day session on Thursday despite a steep rise in U.S. stocks overnight. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi inched up 0.43 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at 2,028.44. Trade volume was moderate at 390.1 million shares worth 5.28 trillion won ($4.71 billion).

“The local stock market closed a tad higher despite the fact that it is an ex-dividend day mainly because investor sentiment improved on the news that U.S. stocks rebounded overnight,” said Lee Young-gon, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment.

U.S. stocks soared on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average advancing 4.98 percent.

In Korea, stocks of companies that close their books at the end of December go ex-dividend one day before the last trading day of the year. Friday is the last trading day of 2018.

The local stock market opened lower, but soon pared losses as individuals and foreigners became net buyers, buoyed by the U.S. market gains, to offset institutional selling.

Individual investors bought a net 300.2 billion won worth of shares, and foreign investors scooped up a net 242.1 billion won. Institutional investors sold a net 545.9 billion won worth of shares.

Most large-cap shares closed mixed.

Samsung Electronics, the company with the top market cap, fell 0.26 percent to end at 38,250 won, while SK Hynix, a major chipmaker, gained 2.50 percent to 61,600 won.

Samsung BioLogics, a Samsung biopharmaceutical affiliate, gained 3.06 percent to end at 371,000 won. Shares of leading biosimilar manufacturer Celltrion lost 0.45 percent to 223,000 won following a surge during the previous session.

LG Chem, Korea’s largest chemical company, fell 1.70 percent to 347,000.

Automakers were losers in the session as Hyundai Motor fell 1.25 percent to 118,500 won, and Kia Motors lost 1.05 percent to 33,050 won.

Leading steelmaker Posco fell 1.23 percent to 241,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq rose 2.14 points, or 0.32 percent, to close at 667.88. The tech and bio-heavy index was lifted by a 1.20 percent rise in the U.S. Philadelphia Semiconductor Index on Wednesday.

The Korean won closed at 1,120 won against the greenback, up 5.4 won from the previous close.

Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on three-year bonds rose 0.3 basis points to 1.81 percent, while the return on 10-year bonds lost 0.5 basis points to 1.94 percent.

BY KIM HEYU, YONHAP [kim.heyu@joongang.co.kr]