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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 2nd day on China's stimulus

All News 16:42 February 05, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photo and bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares ended higher for second straight session on Wednesday as investors took a cue from China's stimulus plans to support growth amid the fast-spreading coronavirus. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 7.73 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,165.63, posting its first back-to-back daily gain since Jan. 20 when the index rose for a third straight session. The main index plunged 5.7 percent last week.

Trade volume was moderate at 563 million shares worth 7.5 trillion won (US$6.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 484 to 342.

Investors took solace from Beijing's steps to inject cash into financial markets and add stimulus measures to shore up its economy, analysts said.

This photo taken on Feb. 5. 2020 shows a broker wearing a mask at the dealing room of KEB Hana Bank in Myeongdon, central Seoul. (Yonhap)

"The Chinese government has obviously taken some steps to stabilize the volatile financial markets. Investors are taking a positive cue from the moves though the risk to global growth remains," Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co., said.

Foreigners and individuals bought a combined 890 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting institutional selling valued at 909 billion won.

Since emerging the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the new coronavirus has killed at least 490 and infected more than 20,000 people in China as of Tuesday and reached 24 countries, including the U.S.

South Korea has reported 18 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday.

In Seoul, tech, steel and airline stocks led gains.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rose 1 percent to 59,500 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 0.6 percent to 97,700 won, leading steelmaker POSCO gained 0.2 percent to 214,500 won, and national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. was up 1 percent to 26,000 won.

Among losers, No. 1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co. fell 1.1 percent to 227,000 won, No. 2 carmaker Kia Motors Corp. declined 2.1 percent to 39,400 won and leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. declined 0.7 percent to 225,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,191.50 won to the dollar, up down 4.10 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 2.4 basis points to 1.307 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond declined 3.0 basis points to reach 1.412 percent.


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