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KOSPI tops 2,000 for first time in 2014

South Korean stocks finished 0.26 percent higher Wednesday as investor sentiment was buoyed by solid economic data from abroad and assurances about the pace of economic recovery, analysts said. The South Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 5.27 points to 1,997.25, the highest in three months. It had surpassed the 2,000-point level at one point in the morning for the first time since the stock market closed at 2002.28 on the final trading session of last year.

Trading volume was thin at 215.9 million shares worth 3.9 trillion won ($3.7 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 440 to 335.

“There have been international issues like the Ukraine crisis, U.S. move to taper and a slowdown in the Chinese economy throughout the first three months of the year. They weighed heavily on emerging markets,” said Han Beom-ho, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

“Investors now see those issues fading away to some extent on the back of optimistic data in the United States and China in the beginning of April.”

Han also noted that the market positively responded to the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comment that she will make no abrupt changes to the U.S. monetary policy.

Foreign buying pushed up the index, with overseas investors snapping up 213.8 billion won worth of shares, while institutions dumped 105.7 billion won. (Yonhap)
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