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Seoul stocks up as investors ready to take risks

Jan 17,2019
Korean stocks finished higher Wednesday as China’s planned stimulus package whetted investors’ appetite for risk, analysts said. The Korean won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 8.92 points, or 0.43 percent, to 2.106.10, the highest figure since Dec. 4. Trading volume was moderate at 492.71 million shares worth 5.27 trillion won ($4.71 billion).

Institutional investors sold a net 18.9 billion won worth of stocks and individuals sold a net 87.1 billion won worth of shares. On the other hand, foreigners bought a net 98.1 billion won worth of stocks.

“Optimism on China’s stimulus, as well as the recent dovish stance by the U.S. Federal Reserve, appear to have helped relieve investors’ worries over the global economic downturn,” said Ha In-hwan, an expert at SK Securities.

“Lingering uncertainties over trade frictions and the U.S. government shutdown, however, could cause volatility for a while,” he added.

Leading the upturn, tech and chemicals finished higher.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.85 percent to close at 41,450 won, and major chipmaker SK Hynix advanced 1.25 percent to end at 64,800 won.

LG Chem spiked 2.81 percent to 366,000 won, and No. 1 steelmaker Posco jumped 2.73 percent to 263,500 won.

Carmakers also gathered ground, with top automaker Hyundai Motor rising 0.78 percent to 128,500 won and Kia Motors moving up 0.87 percent to 34,850 won.

Top-cap bio shares, however, lost ground. Samsung BioLogics fell 1.24 percent to 399,000 won.

Leading oil refiners also lost ground as SK Innovation declined 0.83 percent to 178,500 won and S-Oil decreased 0.21 percent to 96,500 won.

Mobile carriers ended mixed.

Telecommunications giant SK Telecom fell 0.37 percent to 267,500 won, and KT retreated 0.17 percent to 29,250 won, while LG U+ added 0.29 percent to 17,100 won.

The secondary Kosdaq rose 2.99 points, or 0.43 percent, to end the session at 693.38.

The tech and bio-heavy index was lifted by a rise in semiconductor and IT shares and a 1.7-percent rise in the U.S. Nasdaq Composite Index overnight.

The Korean won closed at 1,120.1 won against the dollar, down 0.6 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 0.6 basis points to 1.80 percent. The return on 10-year bonds rose 1.4 basis points to 1.98 percent.

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