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Seoul shares rebound amid lingering growth concerns

Stocks 15:54 March 26, 2019

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rebounded slightly from the previous day's steep plunge Tuesday, but investors remained cautious over gloomy economy outlook, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 3.94 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,148.80. The index turned around from a nearly 2 percent loss Monday as U.S.-originated growth fears spread across the world.

Trading volume was light at 295.6 million shares worth 4.12 trillion won (US$3.64 billion), with gainers beating decliners 556 to 274.

"There were some good news overnight from the U.S. and Europe," said analyst Seo Sang-young from Kiwoom Securities Co. "Germany's better-than-expected business sentiment index helped ease growth worries, while stocks of U.S. blue chips rose on Wall Street."

But he noted that the sluggish U.S. chip industry weighed heavily on South Korea, which depends highly on exports of semiconductors.

Earlier in the morning, Samsung Electronics, the world's largest memory chip manufacturer, said in a filing that it is expecting weaker-than-predicted business results for the first quarter, due to a sharp decline in memory chip and panel prices.

The announcement was made earlier in the morning and its shares fell 0.55 percent to close at 45,250 won. Its rival SK hynix also retreated 0.27 percent to 72,700 won.

But the losses were offset by gains from game makers, cosmetics firms and retailers.

Top mobile game maker NCSoft advanced 0.52 percent to 481,000 won, and Netmarble vaulted 5.22 percent to 121,000 won.

Big-name cosmetics firms LG Household & Health Care and Amore Pacific increased 2.82 percent to 1,422,000 won and 2.39 percent to 192,500 won, respectively.

Leading retailer Shinsegae jumped 4.90 percent to 332,000 won, and its outlet chain E-Mart climbed 0.29 percent to 173,000 won.

The Korean won traded at 1,133.40 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.8 won from the previous session's close.

Seoul shares rebound amid lingering growth concerns - 1

brk@yna.co.kr
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