Shares up on smooth Europe debt sales
Published : Jan 13, 2012 - 17:22
Updated : Jan 13, 2012 - 18:40
Korean stocks ended 0.6 percent higher Friday, as good debt sales in Italy and Spain whetted investor sentiment with more hope for a resolution to the eurozone crisis, analysts said. The local currency gathered ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark KOSPI gained 11.11 points to 1,875.68. Trading volume was moderate at 468.1 million shares worth 5.87 trillion won ($5.1 billion) with gainers outnumbering losers 432 to 384.

“Spain sold twice as much debt than it wanted and that certainly came as a surprise, which reflects that the eurozone nations are actually talking. This kind of concerted move softened investors’ skittishness,” said Kwak Byung-ryel, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities Co.

Spain auctioned 10 billion euros worth of bonds on Thursday.

Italy sold one-year treasuries worth 8.9 billion euros at half the borrowing rate from a month earlier, lessening default pressure on the troubled nations.

The European Central Bank’s firm stance to provide more liquidity also lent support to investor relief for the debt-mired region, Kwak added.

Tech and financial blue chips drove up shares. Top-cap Samsung Electronics rose 1.75 percent to 1,046,000 won and leading chipmaker Hynix Semiconductor Inc. surged 4.14 percent to 25,150 won. The country’s largest banking group by asset, Woori Financial Holdings Co., jumped 3.94 percent to 9,770 won and its rival KB Financial Group Inc. climbed 2.58 percent to 37,800 won.

Steelmakers were bullish with top player POSCO extending its fourth-session gains to advance 1.16 percent to 393,500 won on its brighter earnings forecast. Leading zinc smelter Korea Zinc Co.

also shot up 3.55 percent to 350,000 won on the back of a rise in the global gold prices.

KCC Corp., a local maker of construction materials rose 2.17 percent to 306,500 won after it said in a regulatory filing that it unloaded shares worth 700 billion won in the world’s No. 1 shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. to raise funds.

In contrast, shares of state-run power monopoly Korea Electric Power Corp. dropped 1.47 percent to 26,750 won, as investors offloaded their holdings.

The local currency finished at 1,148.30 won against the greenback, up 9.9 won from Thursday’s close, amid eased fear over the nagging eurozone crisis, dealers said. (Yonhap News)