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KOSPI rallies on IT shares

April 21, 2011 - 19:04 By 김주연
Earnings-driven buying sprees in IT shares, in a market waiting for a second round of capital inflows, are pushing Seoul shares to record high levels, analysts said Thursday.

“Investors, including foreigners, are holding their long positions as they’re waiting for more capital inflows to push up the KOSPI. Because there is less selling, the index keeps breaking all-time highs with even small purchases,” Lee Sang-won, head of research at Hyundai Securities said. 
Korea Exchange employees monitor the KOSPI index Thursday when the benchmark index rose to record 2,200 points during trading. (Yonhap News)

The benchmark KOSPI on Thursday broke its all-time high for the second time this week, rising 1.32 percent to 2198.54. The gains tracked the U.S. rally, where Dow Jones Industrial Average was up to an almost three-year high at 12453.54.

Technology shares are leading the market to the biggest rally of the year after Apple Inc. posted profits of $6 billion, almost double the forecast for the second quarter. “Solid earnings at Apple and Intel basically diversified the buying spree which has been largely concentrated on chemical and energy shares. I expect the momentum to continue for this month,” Lee said.

Samsung Electronics was up 1.4 percent and Hynix Semiconductor jumped 7 percent. LG Electronics was up 0.9 percent.

The tech shares account for about 30 percent of KOSPI’s market capitalization. Oil refiners surged, led by SK Innovation and S-Oil, rising 7.58 percent and 10 percent respectively. LG Chemical jumped 3.28 percent.

Expectations for more capital inflows into the country were also reflected in the rally, analysts said.

“The second round of quantitative easing in the U.S. scheduled to end this June but investors are also expecting some money inflow from Japan’s coming stimulus measures,” Park So-yeon market analyst at Korea Investment & Securities.

By Cynthia J. Kim (