Published : 2013-09-23 15:59
Updated : 2013-09-23 15:59
South Korean stocks closed 0.19 percent higher Monday as investors' sentiment was boosted by the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to keep its current bond-purchasing program in place, analysts said. The local currency gained against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 3.83 points to finish at 2,009.41. Trading volume was moderate at 243.1 million shares worth 4.89 trillion won ($4.55 billion) with gainers outpacing losers 437 to 379.
Analysts said Seoul shares gathered ground as the Federal Reserve decided to keep its current quantitative easing (QE) moves in place during the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday (local time).
Market watchers had speculated that the central bank could scale back the monthly bond purchasing by $10-15 billion last week as the overall economic conditions are improving.
"The FOMC's decision to maintain its quantitative easing moves boosted investors' appetite for riskier assets in the emerging markets," said Ma Joo-ok, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co.
Lim Soo-kyun, a researcher at Samsung Securities Co., echoed the view, adding the abated concerns over the emerging markets led to gains in the local stock market.
"Although Seoul shares opened lower due to investors' profit-taking, they eventually gathered ground on the back of foreign buying," Lim added.
Foreign investors purchased more shares than they sold for the 19th consecutive session at a net 300.4 billion won. In contrast, individuals and institutions sold a net 44.9 billion won and 255.4 billion won, respectively.
Shipbuilders traded higher, with Hyundai Heavy Industries rising 2.11 percent to 266,000 won and Samsung Heavy Industries moving up 3.29 percent to 43,900 won. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering gained 0.44 percent to 34,100 won.
Cheil Industries advanced 4.62 percent to 26,050 won on reports that the firm's board of directors agreed to transfer its fashion business to Samsung Everland Inc., the de facto holding company of Samsung Group, by Dec. 1.
Hyundai Merchant Marine, the top shareholder of Hyundai Asan, the operator of tours to North Korea's Mount Kumgang, moved down
3.44 percent to 18,250 won after Pyongyang unilaterally put off the reunions of family members separated by the Korean War, just four days before the planned event.
Samsung Electronics, the world's top smartphone maker, shed 1.88 percent to 1,360,000 won due to the gloomy outlook over its earnings for the third quarter.
The local currency ended at 1,073.80 won against the greenback, up 10.30 won from Tuesday's close following the Federal Reserve's decision to maintain its quantitative easing moves, dealers said.
It marked the first time for the number to rise to the 1,070-won level since 1,076.20 won tallied on Feb 20, 2013. The Seoul financial markets were closed for three days from Wednesday for the Chuseok holiday, the national harvest celebration. (Yonhap News)