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Kospi recovers past 1,900-mark on foreign investors‘ return

A sign at KB Kookmin Bank’s dealing room in Seoul on Friday shows the Kospi index jumps 57.46 points, or 3.1 percent to close at 1,914.53 points. (Yonhap)
A sign at KB Kookmin Bank’s dealing room in Seoul on Friday shows the Kospi index jumps 57.46 points, or 3.1 percent to close at 1,914.53 points. (Yonhap)


Korea’s benchmark Kospi rose 3.1 percent, recovering past the 1,900 mark Friday as investors went mining higher-risk stocks on hope of curving the peak of the novel coronavirus with a drug developed for ebola virus treatment. 

The local currency closed at 1,217.90 won against the US dollar, strengthening 10.80 won from the previous session’s close. 

The benchmark bourse Kospi opened slightly up, at 1,893.31 -- rising 44.15 points, or 2.38 percent, from the previous session. The index continued to move upward throughout the day to close at 1,914.53 points. The rebound above 1,900 points came in a month since the index reached 1,908.27 points on Mar. 11. 

The tech-heavy secondary Kosdaq also gained 1.82 percent to 634.79 points at Friday’s close. 

Foreign investors net purchased a combined 318 billion won worth of stocks Friday, ending a 30-day selling spree that started on Mar. 5 and saw a total 14.7 trillion won worth of stocks unloaded. 

Market watchers said the sharp rebound in the local stock market came after an announcement by researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine that remdesivir, an experimental drug developed by Gilead Sciences, has shown efficacy in treating COVID-19.

“Foreign investors who continued to dump assets net in the previous sessions purchased nearly 100 billion won early this morning, contributing to the benchmark index’s upstick,” said Lee Kyung-min, a researcher at Daishin Securities. “The rally was buoyed by optimism that the coronavirus outbreak is slowing down.”

By Choi Jae-hee (cjh@heraldcorp.com)
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