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Seoul stocks up for 3rd day on U.S. data, China stimulus

All News 15:56 February 06, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares ended higher for a third straight session Thursday as investor sentiment improved, which was helped by China's stimulus measures to support growth amid the spreading coronavirus. The won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 62.31 points, or 2.88 percent, to 2,227.94. Trade volume was heavy at 683 million shares worth 8.06 trillion won (US$6.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 733 to 130.

Investors took a positive cue from China's plan to cut value-added taxes and offer low-interest loans to help businesses reeling from the new coronavirus outbreak. Markets were also buoyed by strong U.S. jobs data in January, analysts said.

"On top of that, risk sentiment eased further in the afternoon on reports that China will halve tariffs on some $75 billion worth of imports from the U.S. this month," NH Investment & Securities Co. analyst Noh Dong-kil said by phone.

The cut will be effective on Feb. 14 when the U.S. will also implement a reductions in tariffs on Chinese products as part of the phase-one trade deal that was signed last month.

Institutions and foreigners bought a combined 668 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' net selling valued at 689 billion won.

Since the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the new coronavirus has killed at least 563 and infected more than 20,000 people in China as of Thursday and reached 24 countries, including the United States.

South Korea has reported 23 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Thursday.

Most large-cap stocks advanced across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. jumped 2.7 percent to 61,100 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 2.9 percent to 100,500 won, leading steelmaker POSCO gained 4.4 percent to 224,000 won, and national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. improved 3.9 percent to 27,000 won.

Among losers, Hanjin KAL Corp., the holding company of Hanjin Group, fell 0.7 percent to 41,500 won and GS Retail Co. declined 2.1 percent to 39,950 won.

The local currency closed at 1,179.80 won to the dollar, up 11.70 won from the previous session's close.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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