The Korea Herald


Seoul shares jump 1.95 pct on exporters

By KH디지털뉴스부공용

Published : Feb. 20, 2013 - 16:15

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South Korean stocks ended 1.95 percent higher on Wednesday as a rosy outlook on the global economy prompted investors to pick up blue-chip exporters, analysts said.

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

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) climbed

38.81 points to 2,024.64. Trading volume was moderate at 401.6 million shares worth 4.8 trillion won (US$4.5 billion), with gainers far outnumbering decliners 559 to 233.

Foreigners and institutions snapped up shares, but retail investors opted to lock in profits.

"Recent economic data have pointed to signs of an improvement in the global economy. The optimistic sentiment for a shift in fundamentals propelled gains in key exporters," said Park Sung-hoon, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities Co.

Park also said investors pinned hopes on policy momentum ahead of President-elect Park Geun-hye's inauguration ceremony later this week.

Blue-chip exporters fueled the KOSPI's gain. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 3.55 percent to 1,545,000 won and the country's top automaker Hyundai Motor added 3.09 percent to 217,000 won.

Other large caps also gathered ground. Steel giant POSCO gained

1.92 percent to 371,000 won and NHN, the operator of South Korea's most-visited portal, surged 5.44 percent to 261,500 won.

LG Display, the world's second-largest display maker, jumped

5.11 percent to 30,850 won after announcing it has dropped a sales ban request on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 devices. The company has been embroiled in a display patent war against the world's top display maker Samsung Display.

In contrast, confectionery tycoon Orion ended 1.88 percent lower at 1,043,000 won, stemming a five-session winning streak.

Other defensive shares also underperformed the KOSPI, with top mobile operator SK Telecom slipping 0.29 percent to 173,500 won.

The local currency ended at 1,078.5 won against the greenback, up 2.7 won from Tuesday's close, amid strong net buying by foreign investors, dealers said.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasuries gained 0.02 percentage point to 2.71 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds also rose 0.02 percentage point to 2.82 percent. (Yonhap News)