SEOUL, Aug. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korean shares hit this year’s new high on Friday, led by the continued rally of the top cap Samsung Electronics. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 0.77 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,056.24.
Samsung Electronics climbed 2.13 percent to a fresh record high of 1,675,000 won (US$1,500), as its Galaxy Note 7 phablet went on sale earlier in the day.
The KOSPI started the day’s trade marginally higher and wavered in a tight range. Its advance was limited by institutional investors’ selling.
Trade volume recorded 385.3 million shares worth 4.8 trillion won, with decliners outnumbering advancers 477 to 330.
Institutional investors sold a net 353 billion won worth of stocks, while foreigners and individuals net-purchased 219.4 billion won and 53 billion won worth of shares, respectively.
Some market watchers voiced concern about the KOSPI’s heavy reliance on Samsung Electronics.
Its upswing may mean more losers in the KOSPI market.
“That’s a reason why it’s hard to be cheered by Samsung Electronics’ advance,” said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.
Cautious optimism is widespread about the KOSPI itself amid expectations of strong corporate earnings and hikes in global oil prices.
“International oil prices seem to have stably landed in the $40-per-barrel level,” said Kim Sung-hwan, a researcher at Bookook Securities. “We maintain a positive view on the domestic stock market, taking into account the momentum of improved corporate earnings and foreigners’ net-buying mode in line with the global phase of favoring risk assets.”
Other large-cap stocks were mixed. The state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. slid 1.37 percent to 57,400 won.
Leading automaker Hyundai Motor remained flat at 132,500 won and global chipmaker SK hynix rose 2.69 percent to 35,400 won.
The local currency was quoted at 1,117.55 won against the U.S. dollar, down 10.35 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.3 basis point to 1.231 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 0.6 basis points to 1.256 percent.