Shares rise on bargain hunting

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Mar 17, 2014 - 21:10
  • Updated : Mar 17, 2014 - 21:10
South Korean stocks pulled off a rebound Monday from bargain hunting by institutions and private investors who shrugged off geopolitical uncertainties triggered by the Crimean referendum. The South Korean won gained against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index moved up with the start of trading and ended the day at 1,927.53, gaining 0.40 percent, or 7.63 points, from Friday’s close.

Trading volume was relatively light at 197.33 million shares, with 2.98 trillion won ($2.78 billion) worth of stocks changing hands. Prices for 316 listed firms rose, while 470 fell and 87 remained flat.

Foreign investors, who have considerable sway over the market, again shed more shares than they bought while institutions and private investors all became net buyers. Monday’s trading marked the sixth straight trading session that foreign investors offloaded South Korean shares.

“Bargain hunting caused the bourse to rebound, while the Crimean standoff exerted little real impact because the outcome of Sunday’s referendum had been expected,” said Lim Dong-rak, a researcher at Hanyang Securities Co.

The gains come after two straight sessions of the main bourse giving up ground due to weak economic indicators coming out of China and mounting tension between Western democracies and Russia over the Crimean standoff.

The analysts added that shares of local carmakers and auto parts companies moved up because investors expected a sales jump once the new Sonata midsize sedan reached consumers.

Reflecting such expectations, shares of Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s No. 1 carmaker, jumped 2.18 percent to 234,000 won. Its smaller affiliate Kia Motors added 3.10 percent to 56,600 won, with shares of Hyundai Mobis, the country leading autoparts manufacturer, gaining 1.69 percent to 301,000 won.

On the other hand, Samsung Electronics, which accounts for more than 20 percent of the aggregate value of the main bourse, surrendered 0.71 percent to close at 1,266,000 won, with Naver, the country’s top Internet portal, dipping 1.11 percent to 801,000 won.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilder, gained 2.23 percent to 206,500 won.

Telecommunications and construction continued to do well, with SK Telecom, the country’s largest mobile operator, advancing 1.18 percent to 214,500 won. Hyundai E&C closed up 1.49 percent to 54,500 won.

The local currency ended at 1,067.40 won to the U.S. dollar, up 5.40 won from the previous session. (Yonhap)