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S. Korean stocks close higher on eased uncertainties

All News 15:35 April 07, 2016

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares closed slightly higher Thursday as the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) March minutes met expectations, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved up 2.57 points, or 0.13 percent, to finish at 1,973.89. Trading volume was high at 424 million shares worth 4.57 trillion won (US$3.97 billion), with gainers beating losers 427 to 369.

Analysts said Seoul shares closed higher as the FOMC minute met the market's earlier expectations to keep the dovish stance, adding an increase in the global oil prices also led to investors' confidence.

The growth, however, was limited as others also offloaded shares to take profits, especially as market behemoth Samsung Electronics posted better-than-expected performances for the first quarter.

Samsung said it is believed to have posted an operating profit of 6.6 trillion won in the January-March period, up 10.37 percent from the same period last year. From the previous quarter, the first-quarter estimate marks a 7.49 percent rise.

"There will be limits to further increase in share prices as the strong first-quarter performance was already expected in the market," said Noh Geun-chang, an analyst from HMC Investment Securities Co. "Therefore, Samsung will give only limited help in pushing up the KOSPI to the 2,000 mark."

Foreigners purchased a net 218.4 billion won, and retail investors scooped up a net 37.8 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 319 billion won.

Tech shares closed lower, with Samsung Electronics falling 1.25 percent to 1,269,000 won and top chipmaker SK hynix moving down 2.18 percent to 26,900 won. LG Electronics shed 0.32 percent to 62,600 won.

Mobile carriers closed mixed, with SK Telecom falling 0.25 percent to 203,500 won, while KT advanced 0.33 percent to 30,200 won. LG Uplus added 0.94 percent to 10,750 won.

Carmakers gained ground, with No. 1 Hyundai Motor increasing 1.74 percent to 146,500 won and Kia Motors moving up 0.11 percent to 45,400 won. Top auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis moved up 0.85 percent to 236,000 won.

Shipbuilders were also winners, with Hyundai Heavy Industries leaping 3.94 percent to 103,000 won and Samsung Heavy Industries adding 0.48 percent to 10,550 won. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering edged up 1.68 percent to 4,845 won.

The local currency closed at 1,151.40 won against the greenback, up 4.7 won from the previous session's close.


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