The Korea Herald


Seoul stocks may hit record high this week

By 황장진

Published : April 17, 2011 - 19:07

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Korean stocks should be able to maintain their steady gains and strive to reach record-high levels this week, despite downside risks, local analysts said Saturday.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ended last week at 2,140.50, up 12.53 points, or 0.6 percent, from a week earlier, extending its rally of weekly gains to a fifth straight week.

The total market cap also reached a new record of 1,200.58 trillion won ($1.10 trillion) during the week, with the index hitting an all-time closing session high of 2,141.06 on Thursday.

The gains in the KOSPI are noteworthy because they came despite a rise in international crude oil prices and other negative developments that could have dampened investor confidence.

Experts said that the week’s gains came largely from solid purchases of stocks made by private investors who acquired 1 trillion worth of shares more than they sold. Foreign and institutional investors each shed 210 billion won and 552.1 billion won worth of stocks during the week vis-a-vis what they purchased.

Transportation- and chemical-related shares all rose, although troubles by some local builders caused construction business shares to lose ground.

Sambu Construction Co. and Dongyang Engineering and Construction Corp. filled for court receivership earlier in the week that could affect both stock prices and the banking sector that had financial dealings with the builders.

“Despite some worries, conditions were generally favorable throughout the week, with things to continuing to do well in the new week,” said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Daewoo Securities.

He added that next week’s market conditions may be buoyed by corporate reports by many large U.S. and Korean companies.

Multinationals such as Yahoo!, IBM and Citigroup are expected to post first quarter earnings, with Korean companies such as POSCO and LG Chem to do the same. 

(Yonhap News)