Seoul shares close higher on stimulus move

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Feb 25, 2014 - 20:27
  • Updated : Feb 25, 2014 - 20:27
South Korean stocks closed higher Tuesday as investors reacted to the government’s stimulus plans and overall positive sentiment in overseas bourses. The Korean won closed higher against the greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 15.81 points, or 0.81 percent, to 1,964.86. Trading volume was low at 222.4 million shares worth 3.88 trillion won ($3.62 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 482 to 319.

Analysts said Seoul shares gathered ground on the back of the economic stimulus plan announced during the trading session, which focuses on vitalizing public firms, bolstering “creative” economy and stimulating domestic demands.

President Park Geun-hye announced the package of ambitious measures to boost South Korea’s economy and fix various problems hampering its growth.

“Amid the rising hope over the economic plan, the improved sentiment from overseas markets such as the United States and Europe also induced foreigners to scoop up local shares,” said Lim Oh-joong, a researcher at I’M Investment & Securities Co.

Foreigners bought a net 226.6 million won, while individual investors offloaded a net 198.4 billion won. Institutions sold more shares than they bought at 30.6 billion won.

Samsung Electronics, the world’s No. 1 smartphone maker, rose 0.45 percent to 1,334,000 won after it rolled out the Galaxy S5, its latest flagship model at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Spain.

Mobile carriers gathered ground, with SK Telecom rising 2.14 percent to 215,000 won and KT adding 2.58 percent to 29,850 won. LG Uplus, the smallest player, increased 1.45 percent to 10,500 won.

Carmakers also traded higher, with Hyundai Motor rising 2.42 percent to 233,000 won and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors advancing 2.28 percent to 53,900 won. Top auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis climbed 0.48 percent to 313,000 won.

Shares of Naver, the operator of South Korea’s most visited portal, soared 7.46 percent to 735,000 won on reports that Japan’s Softbank is considering buying shares in its LINE business. Naver, however, denied the reports.

The local currency ended at 1,072.90 won to the U.S. dollar, up 1.60 won from Monday’s close. (Yonhap)