The Korea Herald


Seoul shares end 5-day losing run on big-cap tech gains

By Yonhap

Published : April 27, 2023 - 16:10

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An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap) An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks ended higher Thursday after a five-session losing streak as investors picked up tech bargains despite concerns about the global banking sector instability and an economic recession. The local currency fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 10.98 points, or 0.44 percent, to close at 2,495.81.

Trading volume was moderate at 722.69 million shares worth 10.97 trillion won ($8.19 billion), with decliners outpacing gainers 465 to 405.

Retailers and foreigners bought a net 175.47 billion won and 281.43 billion won worth of shares, respectively, offsetting selling by institutions worth a net 471.69 billion won.

The index opened slightly lower and had moved within a tight range before making an upturn, as Wall Street shares ended mixed amid concerns about the health of the banking sector. The US' First Republic Bank reported a drop in deposits in the first quarter, which reminded investors of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and several other lenders last month.

Investors were assessing quarterly earnings reports from major companies here and their business outlook for later this year.

Eyes are also closely watching President Yoon Suk Yeol's ongoing state visit to the United States, as the results will affect business circumstances for South Korean companies amid the intensifying Sino-US rivalry over technology prowess and industrial competitiveness.

"Market volatility has grown amid renewed fears over the global banking instability and an economic recession, though investors have also been focusing on the quarterly results of and the business outlook for each company," Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities Co., said.

Large-cap chips and battery makers gathered ground to lead the upturn of the index.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.78 percent to 64,600 won after the tech giant flagged a gradual recovery for semiconductors in the second half of this year as it was cutting memory production, though it reported its worst quarterly figure in 14 years on sagging chip demand.

Major chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.6 percent to 88,800 won.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution spiked 3.53 percent to 587,000 won on hopes for sales growth on the back of the US' Inflation Reduction Act.

Top chemical firm LG Chem jumped 1.93 percent to 741,000 won following deep losses in recent sessions. It reported a 22.8 percent fall in operating profit in the first quarter.

Samsung SDI rose 0.43 percent to 706,000 won after logging a 28 percent rise in its first-quarter net profit on solid demand for electric vehicle batteries.

No. 1 steelmaker Posco Holdings surged 4.17 percent to 387,000 won, and battery components maker Posco Future M climbed 2.26 percent to 340,000 won on bargain hunting.

Major carmakers also rose, with No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor increasing 0.25 percent to 202,000 won and its affiliate Kia growing 1.05 percent to 86,600 won.

But financial stocks fell, with major banking firm KB Financial losing 1.43 percent to 48,250 won and Shinhan Financial falling 1.27 percent to 34,900 won.

The local currency ended at 1,337.9 won against the US dollar, down 1.6 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)