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Stocks up on Brexit vote and China sales data

Mar 15,2019
Korean stocks rose Thursday as investors digested a mixed bag of data from major economies and uncertainty over Brexit eased, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the dollar.

The Kospi rose 7.27 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 2,155.68. Trading volume was moderate at 337.19 million shares worth 5.8 trillion won ($5.11 billion), with gainers beating losers 626 to 213.

Market sentiment was buoyed after British lawmakers rejected leaving the European Union (EU) without a deal. The lawmakers are now widely expected to vote to delay Britain’s departure from the EU, currently scheduled for March 29.

China announced retail sales data that was in line with expectations and industrial production data slightly below expectations. U.S. business equipment orders increased by the most in six months, and last month’s producer price index signaled modest pressure on inflation.

“Investor sentiment rebounded with a slew of economic data from the United States and China, and easing concerns over a Brexit without a deal,” Yoon Jung-seon, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities, said.

Foreign and retail investors bought a net 306.4 billion and 141.7 billion worth of local stock, respectively, while institutions sold a net 454.1 billion won.

Samsung Electronics was steady at 43,850 won and chipmaker SK Hynix rose 0.75 percent to 67,300 won.

Refiners advanced after oil prices rallied on global production cuts and supply disruption in Venezuela.

SK Innovation rose 2.15 percent to 190,000 won, and S-Oil moved up 2.82 percent to 94,900 won.

Auto shares slumped. Top automaker Hyundai Motor declined 2.86 percent to 119,000 won, and parts maker Hyundai Mobis sank 3.38 percent to 200,000 won.

The Kosdaq rose 0.53 points, or 0.07 percent, to end the session at 755.42. The index finished higher five days in a row as foreign investors purchased semiconductor and information-technology stocks after seeing Nasdaq’s biotech stocks finish 1.4 percent higher Wednesday.

HLB moved down 4.08 percent to 84,600 won, and Cellivery rose 29.88 percent to 14,700 won. Celltrion Healthcare declined 2.53 percent to 73,100 won.

The won closed at 1,134.8 won against the dollar, up 2.3 won from Wednesday.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended mixed. The yield on three-year bonds lost 0.2 basis points to 1.793 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds gained 1.2 basis points to 1.978 percent.

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