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Stocks rise as trade hopes return post holiday

Dec 27,2019
Stocks closed slightly higher Thursday on rising hopes over progress in a trade deal between the world’s top two economies. The won rose against the dollar.

Kospi rose 7.85 points, or 0.36 percent, to finish at 2,197.93. Trade volume was high at 562 million shares worth 4.61 trillion won ($3.88 billion), with gainers far outpacing losers 608 to 230.

Analysts said investors were buoyed by the upcoming trade negotiation between Washington and Beijing, with U.S. President Donald Trump saying earlier this week that they will soon hold a signing ceremony.

The increase, however, was limited as some investors also took a wait-and-see stance ahead of the final trading session of 2019 slated for next week.

“With the year-end approaching, investors are also sitting on the sidelines waiting for next year,” Noh Dong-kil, a researcher at NH Securities said. “Investors already feel burden from recent gains.”

Foreigners offloaded a net 27 billion won of local stocks, and individual investors sold a net 464 billion won. Institutions bought more shares than they sold at 446 billion won.

Samsung Electronics closed 0.73 percent higher at 55,400 won, and SK Hynix rose 1.07 percent to 94,800 won.

LG Display gained 1.28 percent to 15,850 won, while home appliances maker LG Electronics slipped 0.83 percent to 71,300 won.

Local mobile carrier SK Telecom climbed 0.82 percent to 244,500 won, while LG U+, the smallest player, closed unchanged at 14,350 won. KT added 0.37 percent to 27,400 won.

Pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics fell 0.84 percent to 413,500 won, while Celltrion rose 2.43 percent to 189,500 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical shed 0.82 percent to 306,500 won.

Carmakers also finished higher, with Hyundai Motor rising 0.41 percent to 122,500 won, and Kia Motors advancing 0.89 percent to 45,100 won. Hyundai Mobis, the auto part affiliate of Hyundai, moved up 1.36 percent to 261,000 won.

Airline shares were mixed, as Asiana Airlines went up 2.74 percent, closing at 5,620 won, while Korean Air inched down 0.36 percent to 27,900 won. Jeju Airlines shed 0.74 percent closing at 26,950 won.

The secondary Kosdaq climbed 13.16 points, or 2.06 percent, to close at 652.07.

The won closed at 1,161.80 won against the dollar, down 2.10 won from the previous session’s close.

The local financial market was closed on Wednesday for Christmas.

BY KANG JAE EUN, YONHAP [kang.jaeeun@joongang.co.kr]