The Korea Herald


Seoul shares gain 1.13% on Fed hopes

By Korea Herald

Published : March 13, 2012 - 19:33

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South Korean stocks rallied 1.13 percent Tuesday as investors raised their sense of optimism toward the U.S. Federal Reserve’s move for a fresh monetary easing, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark KOSPI climbed 22.54 points to close at 2,025.04. Trading volume was moderate at 442.2 million shares worth 5.58 trillion won ($4.96 billion) with gainers outpacing losers 490 to 330.

“There is a certain sense of trust that investors are holding onto, like ‘Bernanke will help us’ eventually,” said Park So-yeon, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities Co.

Investors are eying closely the outcome of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, slated for later Tuesday. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had said earlier it is mulling another set of a quantitative easing as a stimulus for the growth of the world’s largest economy.

Foreign investors reverted to a buying stance from the previous session’s selloff, snapping up a net 114.3 billion won. Park added that foreign investors’ move is, however, still shaky as European liquidity has almost run out.

“Lessening liquidity merit from Europe and a slowing China will likely keep investors take the wait-and-see approach for some time.”

Institutions also bought a net 91.5 billion won, while retail investors unloaded a net 313.3 billion won.

Financial firms and automakers drove up the KOSPI, with No. 3 lender Shinhan Financial jumping 4.42 percent to 44,850 won. Top automaker Hyundai Motor shot up 3.71 percent to 223,500 won on the back of brighter prospects ahead of South Korea’s free trade pact with the United Stated to take effect on Thursday.

Tech blue-chips, also highly reliant on exports, finished bullish. Market behemoth Samsung Electronics advanced 0.91 percent to 1,221,000 won and flat panel giant LG Display rose 2.92 percent to 28,200 won.

The local currency ended at 1,121.50 won against the greenback, up 2.5 won from Monday’s close, as foreigners opted to scoop up local shares, dealers said.

(Yonhap News)