Shares gain 0.97% on US data, Spain‘s debt easing
Korean stocks closed 0.97 percent higher Wednesday on strong U.S. corporate earnings and easing of Spain's debt concerns, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 19.23 points to close at 2,004.53. Trading volume was light at 376 million shares worth 4.56 trillion won (US$4.01 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 456 to 362.
"Good U.S. corporate earning figures for the first quarter and signs that the housing market may improve in the second half fueled gains on Wall Street that affected the KOSPI," Lee Sang-jae, a senior economist at Hyundai Securities Co. said.
He said the announcement by the International Monetary Fund to mark up its global growth projection to 3.5 percent this year from 3.3 percent buoyed the bourse.
Others such as Kim Se-joong, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities Co. said despite initial concerns surrounding Spain's debt crisis, the timely intervention by the European Central Bank has eased overall risks.
"Unlike the past, Europe's firewall seems to be working, and this development has alleviated investors' concerns," he said. Because of a strong debt auction by Spain, European stock markets rose in overnight trading.
Shares gathered ground across the board, with electronics, autos and construction firms leading the gain.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics jumped 3.52 percent to close at 1,293,000 won, with top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. adding 1.74 percent to 263,500 won.
No. 2 automaker Kia Motors gained 2.42 percent to 80,500 won, with LG Electronics, the country's leading home appliance maker, moving up 0.91 percent to end at 77,400 won.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipmaker, rose 1.77 percent to 315,500 won, with Hyundai Engineering & Construction adding 1.57 percent to finish at 77,700 won.
LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, however, lost 2.53 percent to 347,000 won, with top steelmaker POSCO shedding 0.13 percent to close at 380,500 won. Hyundai Steel also lost 0.95 percent to 104,000 won.
The local currency finished at 1,137.3 won to the greenback, up 3.2 won from Tuesday's close, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasuries gained 0.02 percentage point to 3.49 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds also rose 0.02 percentage point to 3.62 percent. (Yonhap)