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Pharmaceuticals, biotechs soar on US rally

South Korean pharmaceuticals and biotech stocks have gone on a tear this year on the back of a biotech rally on the US NASDAQ market, data showed Thursday.

The main stock market's subindex for the pharmaceutical sector had spiked 44 percent as of Wednesday from the start of this year, according to the data from the Korea Exchange and market tracker FnGuide.

The figure is more than double the 19 percent increase in the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index over the cited period.

On the secondary KOSDAQ market, the pharmaceutical subindex surged 18 percent over the same period, far outperforming the 5.7 percent gain in the broad KOSDAQ index.


Biotech company Sillajen saw its share price skyrocket 230 percent during the period, the best performer among local pharmaceuticals and biotechs.

Shares in biopharmaceutical maker Samsung BioLogics Co., a unit of South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group, surged 116 percent, with pharmaceutical firm FutureChem seeing its share price double.

The share price of biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion Inc., the top cap on the secondary KOSDAQ market, jumped 36 percent over the cited period.

Market watchers attributed the surge in pharmaceuticals and biotech companies to a biotech rally on the US NASDAQ market and expectations for the Moon Jae-in government's economic policies.

The NASDAQ's biotech subindex had soared 24.6 percent as of Tuesday from the start of the year, compared with the 19.9 percent gain in the overall price index.

The Moon administration, which took office in early May, has vowed to promote the IT, pharmaceutical, biotech, electric vehicle and renewable energy sectors as part of efforts to spur economic growth. (Yonhap)
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