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Seoul stocks end higher on upbeat U.S. data

All News 16:06 June 04, 2018

SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares ended higher Monday as an upbeat U.S. jobs report and revived hopes for a U.S.-North Korea summit boosted investor sentiment, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korean Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 8.8 points, or 0.36 percent, to finish at 2,447.76. Trade volume was moderate at 433.24 million shares worth 7.56 trillion won (US$7.05 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 433 to 407.

Local stocks rose as strong U.S. jobs data bolstered optimism in the world's largest economy, though investors remain concerned about the possible impact of a trade war between the U.S. and China.

"Signs of recovery in the U.S. economy and hopes for a gradual interest rate hike are positive factors for Korean stocks," Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said. "Investors are also wary of trade disputes between U.S. and China as the latest round of trade talks ended without settlement."

Foreigners and institutions scooped up a net 18.37 billion won and 55 billion won, respectively, while retail investors dumped 91.86 billion won worth of shares more than they bought.

Shares related to North Korea increased on hopes for a revival of cross-border projects as preparations continued for U.S. President Donald Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.

Top steelmaker POSCO rose 3.83 percent to 352,500 won, and train manufacturer Hyundai Rotem gained 0.75 percent to 40,550 won.

Auto shares also traded higher, with leading carmaker Hyundai Motor advancing a solid 2.14 percent to 143,000 won and its corporate cousin Kia Motors jumping 5.8 percent to 33,750 won.

Tech firms slumped after Chinese media reported that Beijing was investigating Chinese branch offices of Samsung Electronics and SK hynix amid continued price increases for memory chips.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics fell 0.39 percent to 51,100 won, and SK hynix, a major chipmaker, retreated 1.75 percent to 89,800 won.

Bio shares were down.

Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion lost 2.56 percent to 266,500 won, and Samsung Biologics, the healthcare unit of Samsung Group, tumbled 7.2 percent 419,000 won.

The South Korean currency closed at 1,071.9 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.1 won from the previous session's close.


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