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S. Korean shares end higher on trade deal hopes

South Korean shares ended higher Friday, with investors expecting a US-China trade deal. The won fell against the dollar.

The benchmark KOSPI rose 3.08 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 2,209.61. Trading volume was moderately heavy at 511.71 million shares worth 4.13 trillion won ($3.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 452 to 372.

Foreigners and institutions bought a combined 161.311 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting individuals’ stock selling worth 154.63 billion won.


“The main KOSPI index ended higher as investors increased their stock purchases on expectations that the US and China are closer to signing a trade deal. Lower-than-expected earnings guidance by Samsung Electronics were already factored in the market so there was no sharp decline in the index,” Huh Jae-hwan, an analyst at Eugene Investment, said.

Large-cap stocks were mixed.

No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rose 0.77 percent to 79,000 won, top carmaker Hyundai Motor climbed 2.02 percent to 126,000 won and leading steelmaker POSCO gained 1.29 percent to 275,000 won. 

Samsung Electronics, however, fell 0.21 percent to 46,850 won after the chip giant reported an operating profit of 6.2 trillion won for the January-March quarter, a 60 percent on-year decrease in its first-quarter earnings guidance.

Among other decliners, state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. fell 3.15 percent to 29,200 won and national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. shed 0.16 percent to 31,900 won.

The local currency traded at 1,136.60 won against the US dollar, down 0.30 won from the previous day’s close. (Yonhap)