+ A

Kospi inches up as investors await Q4 reports

Jan 22,2019
Korean stocks swung between positive and negative terrain to finish slightly higher as investors awaited corporate earnings reports while keeping tabs on the trade talks between the United States and China, analysts said. The Korean won depreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi ticked up 0.33 point, or 0.02 percent, to finish at 2,124.61. Trading volume was moderate at 392.7 million shares worth 5.21 trillion won ($4.62 billion).

Institutional investors bought a net 62.5 billion won worth of stocks and foreigners bought a net 56.8 billion won worth of shares. On the other hand, individuals sold a net 138 billion won worth of stocks.

“The local market was fueled by optimism that an end to the trade war between Washington and Beijing is in sight on news that China offered to buy more U.S.-made goods,” Yoon Jung-seon, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities, said.

Large-cap tech shares advanced to support the index.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics rose 1.06 percent to 42,750 won, and chipmaker SK Hynix moved up a solid 3.72 percent to 67,000 won.

LG Chem inched up 0.41 percent to 370,000 won, and Posco jumped 2.10 percent to 268,000 won.

Auto shares fell following a sharp rally, with leading automaker Hyundai Motor shedding 3.05 percent to 127,000 won and its parts maker, Hyundai Mobis, shedding 2.38 percent to 205,000 won. Kia Motors also shed 1.26 percent to 35,350 won.

Top-cap bio shares lost ground as well. Samsung BioLogics fell 0.75 percent to 397,000 won. Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion skidded 1.49 percent to 198,000 won.

No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom declined 2.23 percent to 263,500 won, and its smaller rival KT fell 1.02 percent to 29,000 won. LG U+ also fell 4.32 percent to 16,600 won.

Top portal operator Naver dipped 4.73 percent to 131,000 won, and the state-run Korea Electric Power sank 3.84 percent to 32,550 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 0.72 points, or 0.10 percent, to end the session at 695.62.

The tech and bio-heavy index was dragged down by foreign and institutional selling of pharmaceutical shares despite a 1.0-percent rise in the U.S. Nasdaq Composite Index Friday.

The Korean won closed at 1,128.1 won against the dollar, up 6.20 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 0.7 basis points to 1.82 percent. The return on 10-year bonds rose 2.0 basis points to 2.03 percent.

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