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Stocks follow U.S. market up on Fed, China

Jan 08,2019
Shares ended higher Monday as U.S. stocks rose on Friday following a dovish turn by the Federal Reserve and an easing of monetary policy in China. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The Kospi gained 26.85 points, or 1.34 percent, to close the session at 2,037.10. Trading volume was moderate at 428.0 million shares, worth 5.13 trillion won ($4.59 billion).

“The news of China and the United States’ working team negotiating on trade, China reducing its cash reserve ratio and Federal Reserve chairman Powell’s dovish remarks have led to a sharp rebound in the major three [U.S.] indices,” said Seo Jung-hun, an analyst from Samsung Securities.

The U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.29 percent on Friday.

Institutional investors bought a net 164.5 billion won, and foreign investors picked up a net 55.8 billion won worth of shares. Meanwhile, individuals sold a net 204.1 billion won worth of stocks.

Large-cap tech stocks led gains.

Samsung Electronics jumped 3.47 percent to 38,750 won, and major chipmaker SK Hynix rose 0.69 percent to 58,700 won. Leading steelmaker Posco climbed 2.93 percent to 246,000 won.

Chemical shares were also winners as LG Chem, Korea’s largest chemical company, rose 3.78 percent to 343,000 won. Lotte Chemical closed 6.24 percent higher at 272,500 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor ended up 0.84 percent to 120,500 won, while its sister company Kia Motors fell 1.87 percent at 34,200 won.

Pharmaceutical shares also ended mixed. Samsung BioLogics, a Samsung biopharmaceutical affiliate, gained 1.84 percent to end at 388,000 won, while shares of leading biosimilar manufacturer Celltrion lost 1.82 percent to 216,000 won.

Among decliners, tobacco company KT&G fell 0.50 percent to 100,000 won, and tiremaker Kumho Tire shed 2.08 percent to close at 5,170 won.

SK Telecom fell 1.07 percent to 276,500 won and KT declined 0.49 percent to 30,450 won. LG U+ jumped 1.39 percent to 18,200 won.

The secondary Kosdaq rose 8.35 points, or 1.26 percent, to end the session at 672.84. The tech and bio-heavy index was lifted by a 4.26 percent rise in the U.S. Nasdaq Composite Index on Jan. 4.

The Korean won closed at 1,118.60 won against the greenback, down 5.90 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 1.0 basis point to 1.81 percent. The return on 10-year bonds also added 0.5 basis points to 1.98 percent.

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