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Kospi lifted by hopes of stimulus by Chinese

Mar 13,2019
Korean stocks advanced Tuesday on rising hopes for more stimulus measures from China and a robust retail sales report from the United States, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi gained 19.08 points, or 0.89 percent, to finish at 2,157.18, marking the biggest daily gain since Feb. 20.

Trading volume was moderate at 345.7 million shares worth 4.11 trillion won ($3.65 billion), with gainers far outnumbering losers 590 to 241.

Shares traded bullish on expectations that Beijing will implement more economic stimulus to prop up slowing economic growth.

U.S. retail sales rose 0.2 percent in January, surpassing the market expectation for a 0.1-percent decline, which eased concerns over growth in the world’s largest economy.

“Gains in U.S. tech stocks and analysts upgrading their prospects provided upward momentum for tech heavyweights on the local stock market,” Yoon Jung-seon, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities, said. “Better-than-expected U.S. retail reports also boosted the stock market here.”

Institutions scooped up a net 75.7 billion won worth of local stocks to support the index. Foreigners dumped a net 600 million won, while retail investors sold a net 20.9 billion won.

Tech blue chips were in positive territory. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 2.29 percent to 44,650 won, and major chipmaker SK Hynix rose 1.65 percent to 67,700 won.

Shares of Hyundai Motor increased 3.72 percent to 125,500 won after Institutional Shareholder Services, a prominent shareholder advisory firm, opposed New York-based hedge fund Elliott’s call for Hyundai Motor to increase dividends to its shareholders. Korea’s leading automaker has argued that it needs cash reserves.

In contrast, top portal operator Naver declined 2.25 percent to 130,500 won, and tobacco maker KT&G sank 3.65 percent to 105,500 won.

The Kosdaq rose 15.67 points, or 2.12 percent, to end the session at 754.76. The index finished higher for two days straight as retail investors and institutions actively purchased local stocks following the gains in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. JYP Entertainment lost 4.01 percent to 29,950 won, and Celltrion Healthcare gained 3.59 percent to 75,100 won.

The won closed at 1,130.0 won against the dollar, up 4.50 won from Monday.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended mixed. The yield on three-year bonds was steady at 1.81 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds added 0.5 basis point to 1.99 percent.

BY KO JUN-TAE, YONHAP [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]