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Seoul shares close 1.01 pct higher on U.S. data

Seoul shares close 1.01 pct higher on U.S. data

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Published : 2013-12-09 15:43
Updated : 2013-12-09 15:43

South Korean stocks closed 1.01 percent higher Monday, curbing earlier concerns that improved U.S. jobs data may weigh on investor sentiment, analysts said. The local currency soared against the U.S. dollar to reach a year-high level.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) surged 19.97 points to 2,000.38. Trading volume was low at 220.8 million shares worth 2.88 trillion won (US$2.73 billion) with losers outpacing gainers 410 to 385.

Analysts said the local stock market gathered ground on the back of improved U.S. jobs data, which drove up shares on Wall Street in the previous trading session.

U.S. stocks closed higher Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average adding 1.26 percent and the tech-laden NASDAQ composite index rising 0.73 percent.

The U.S. added 203,000 jobs in the non-agricultural sector last month, hovering far above the market estimate of 180,000 jobs, casting a brighter outlook over the world's No. 1 economy.

Market watchers had anticipated that better-than-expected jobs data may weigh down on investors as it may induce its central bank to commence a tapering of its economic stimulus moves early.

"Concerns over a tapering of quantitative easing has already been priced into the market," said Lim Soo-kyun, a researcher at Samsung Securities Co. "The economic recovery of the U.S. overwhelmed concerns over a change in the country's monetary policy."

Foreigners scooped up a net 60.3 billion won worth of Seoul shares on the main bourse, and institutions also purchased a net 108.8 billion won. Retail investors, in contrast, offloaded a net 166 billion won.

Samsung Electronics gained 1.82 percent to 1,454,000 won, and its local rival LG Electronics added 0.76 percent to 66,100 won.

Top chipmaker SK hynix rose 2.39 percent to 36,350 won as foreigners scooped up its shares.

Builders closed bullish, with Hyundai Engineering & Construction moving up 0.8 percent and Daewoo Engineering & Construction advancing 0.37 percent to 8,090 won. Daelim Industrial gained 0.11 percent to 94,800 won.

Carmakers traded mixed, with No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor closing unchanged at 230,000 won and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors losing 0.35 percent to 56,600 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis gained 0.87 percent to 291,500 won.

Mobile carriers, meanwhile, traded lower, with No. 1 SK Telecom falling 0.22 percent to 226,000 won and KT losing 0.49 percent to 30,350 won. LG Uplus, the smallest player, shed 1.29 percent to 9,920 won.

The local currency ended at 1,053.00 won to the U.S. dollar, up 5 won from Friday's close, due mainly to abated concerns over the Fed's tapering, dealers said. (Yonhap News)

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