Positive sentiment lifts Korean stocks

Business | 14 Mar 2019 3:50 pm

South Korean stocks climbed today as investors digested a mixed bag of data from major economies and uncertainty over Brexit eased, analysts said.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 7.27 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 2,155.68.

Trading volume was moderate at 337.19 million shares worth 5.8 trillion won (US$5.11 billion), with gainers beating losers 626 to 213.

Market sentiment was buoyed after British lawmakers rejected leaving the European Union without a deal. The lawmakers are now widely expected to vote to delay Britain's departure from the EU, currently scheduled for March 29.

China announced retail sales data that was in line with expectations and industrial production data slightly below. U.S. business equipment orders increased by the biggest amount in six months, and last month's producer price index signaled modest pressure on inflation.

"Investor sentiment rebounded with a slew of economic data from the United States and China and easing concerns over a Brexit without a deal," Yoon Jung-seon, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities, said.

Foreigners and retail investors bought a net 306.76 billion and 142.39 billion worth of local stock, respectively, while institutions sold a net 455.17 billion won.

Tech blue chips were mixed. Market kingpin Samsung Electronics was steady at 43,850 won and chipmaker SK hynix added 0.75 percent to 67,300 won.

Refiners advanced after oil prices rallied on global production cuts and supply disruption in Venezuela.

Leading refiner SK Innovation gained by 2.15 percent to 190,000 won, and No. 3 refiner S-Oil moved up 2.82 percent to 94,900 won.

Auto shares slumped. Top automaker Hyundai Motor declined by 2.86 percent to 119,000 won, and its parts maker Hyundai Mobis sank by 3.38 percent to 200,000 won.

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