Shares gain 0.53% on eurozone hopes
Korean stocks rose 0.53 percent Friday on a European Union (EU) move to address its fiscal woes and prevent Greece from exiting the eurozone, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 9.70 points to 1,824.17. Trading volume was light at just 379 million shares worth 3.49 trillion won ($2.96 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 534 to 293.
"Investor confidence got a boost from European leaders' resolve to keep Greece within the currency union and possible concerted measures to fuel growth to overcome their fiscal debt problems," Lee Sun-yup, a market analyst at Shinhan Investment said.
He also said because concerns surrounding Greece and other EU countries have not been resolved, there is a need to be cautious about entering the market.
EU leaders met Wednesday and agreed to work together to keep Greece from defaulting on its debts, and try to calm panic in the market that can hurt global economic health. Despite the meeting, no concrete measures have been announced.
This view was echoed by Park Seung-jin, an analyst at Samsung Securities, who said that the KOSPI will likely swing between gains and losses until a detailed plan on EU crisis is announced.
Others said that local bourse trailed overnight recovery on Wall Street and European markets, with bargain hunting for big caps further pushing up prices.
Big caps posted modest gains with electronics, steel and chemical leading the upward swing.
LG Electronics, a leading electronic appliance manufacturer, added 0.75 percent to 66,800 won, with leading steelmaker POSCO gained 0.57 percent to 353,500 won.
LG Chem, a globally established manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, jumped 4.84 percent to 292,500 won.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipmaker, moved up 1.72 percent to 261,500 won, with No. 2 carmaker Kia Motors gaining 0.66 percent to 76,400 won.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics, however, ended the trading session flat at 1,225,000 won, with shares of top automaker Hyundai Motor dipping 0.21 percent to 233,000 won.
The local currency finished at 1,185.5 won to the U.S. greenback, down 5 won from Thursday's close, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed flat. The yield on three-year Treasuries finished unchanged at 3.35 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds also held steady at 3.47 percent. (Yonhap)