The Korea Herald


Shares spike 1.33 percent on broad market gains

By Korea Herald

Published : Feb. 29, 2012 - 17:03

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Korean stocks surged 1.33 percent Wednesday, boosted by a rally in chipmakers and shipbuilders as well as broad gains in large caps, analysts said.

The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index advanced 26.56 points to end at 2,030.25. Trading volume was moderate at 555 million shares worth 6.71 trillion won ($5.99 billion) with gainers leading losers 542 to 289.

The market rally was fueled by hopes that the global economy is on a recovery track. U.S. consumer confidence increased in February to the highest level in a year, raising expectations about a recovery in the world’s largest economy.

“Resilience in the U.S. economy gave a boost to the local market,” said Kim Hak-kyun, an analyst at Daewoo Securities. “Eased concern over oil prices also helped buoy investor sentiment.”

Dubai crude oil, South Korea’s benchmark, finished at $121.81 per barrel on Tuesday, down $0.75 from the previous day, snapping a rise for a fourth straight day.

Large-cap shares led the broad market gains. In particular, chipmakers jumped on expectations that South Korean chipmakers will increase their market shares down the road as Japanese rival Elpida Memory Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics gained 1.77 percent to close at 1,206,000 won, and Hynix Semiconductor rose 1.17 percent to 30,200 won.

Shipbuilders also remained in positive terrain on expectations that the sector will recover down the road.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilder, advanced 1.95 percent to close at 339,500 won and Samsung Heavy Industries soared 2.26 percent to end at 40,750 won. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering also spiked 5.12 percent to close at 35,950 won.

Airlines and petrochemical firms rose on eased concerns over rising oil prices. Korean Air, the country’s leading airline, rose 2.33 percent to 52,800 won. LG Chem, the country’s leading chemicals maker, gained 0.89 percent to 398,500 won.

Automakers and auto-parts makers rebounded on market consensus that shares of automakers have excessively fallen in the past few trading sessions.

Hyundai Motor, the country’s leading automaker, jumped 3.6 percent to 216,000, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors gained 3.21 percent to close at 70,700.

The local currency closed at 1,118.70 won to the greenback, up 5.8 won from Tuesday’s close, as overseas investors bet on risky assets amid decreased market volatility, dealers said. (Yonhap News)