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Kospi leaps past 2,400 mark

The main bourse of South Korea leaped to another record-high Thursday, surpassing the 2,400 closing mark for the first time in history.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 0.74 percent to close at 2,409.49 Thursday from Wednesday’s closing at 2,391.77.

The top-tier stock market continued its record run, a day after it retreated 0.18 percent from the previous record high at 2,396.00 Tuesday.

Foreign investors showed a strong buying trend, recording net purchase of 372.9 billion won ($328.1 million). Institutional buyers and individual traders net sold 185.4 billion won and 239.7 billion won of stocks, respectively.

The Kospi hovered at above the 2,410 mark from early morning trade until it fell from 2,418.36 a minute before the market closed, due to institutional investors’ swift reversal of the buying trend.

(The Korea Exchange)
(The Korea Exchange)
Top Kospi-listed companies in market capitalization saw rises. Handset juggernaut Samsung Electronics continued its four-day record run after adding 1.36 percent, while chipmaker SK hynix rose 2.47 percent. Construction firm Samsung C&T soared 1.4 percent and internet firm Naver rose 1.1 percent. Automaker Hyundai Motor remained flat.

The figure at day’s end marked the 14th record-high close in 2017. The Kospi market has maintained its record run on anticipation that the Moon Jae-in administration will address Korea’s corporate governance structure, as well as global tech firms’ decent performances, largely offsetting uncertainties such as geopolitical tensions sparked by North Korea’s missile launches.

This came in line with US rallies driven by US Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen’s dovish remark to US Congress.

The S&P 500 jumped 0.73 percent and the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.57 percent, while Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.1 percent.

Other than the Wall Street gains, the Bank of Korea’s upward revision of growth forecast this year, to 2.8 percent from 2.6 percent in an April estimate, has buoyed the stock market, said Kim Young-hwan, a researcher at KB Securities.

Local currency was being traded at 1,136.3 won against the greenback, with the currency strengthening by 8.8 won from Wednesday.

By Son Ji-hyoung (consnow@heraldcorp.com)
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