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(LEAD) Seoul stocks surge 1 pct on upbeat data, China stimulus

All News 16:39 February 11, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Feb. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed sharply higher Tuesday, snapping a two-day losing streak on U.S. indicators that signaled steady economic improvements, with China expected to take stimulus measures to minimize the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 22.05 points, or 1 percent, to close at 2,223.12. Trading volume was moderate at 510 million shares worth 6.47 trillion won (US$5.47 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 568 to 281.

The photo taken Feb. 11, 2020 shows a KEB Hana Bank trading room in Seoul. (Yonhap)

"Despite the spread of the coronavirus, the New York stock market continued to rise reaching a record high on the news of China lowering its import tariffs on U.S. goods under its first phase trade deal with the United States," Hana Financial Investment analyst Kim Hoon-gil said.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average shot up 0.6 percent to close at a record 29,276.82 Monday (U.S. time).

China's widely anticipated stimulus measures also boosted investor sentiments across Asia.

"The reason China's stock prices are rising despite the continued spread of the coronavirus is because the market expects bold fiscal measures by the Chinese government following the injection of massive liquidity by the People's Bank of China last week," said NH Futures analyst So Byeong-eun.

Foreigners continued to sell South Korean shares for two consecutive sessions, offloading a net 94.2 billion won. Individuals dumped a net 220 billion won, while institutions scooped up a net 301 billion won.

Most large caps closed in positive terrain.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics added 0.34 percent to 59,900 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix jumped 1.01 percent to 99,800 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor surged 1.92 percent, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors soaring 1.72 percent.

The Korean won closed at 1,181.55 won per dollar, up 5.55 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 0.3 basis point to 1.299 percent, but the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 0.2 basis point to stand at 1.408 percent.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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