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Seoul shares up 0.2 pct on U.S. stimulus

Feb. 27, 2013 - 15:47 By KH디지털뉴스부공용
South Korean stocks closed 0.2 percent higher on Wednesday on the back of the U.S. Federal Reserve's reassurance that it would maintain its stimulus measures, analysts said. The local currency gained against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved up 4.03 points to 2,004.04. Trading volume was moderate at 409.1 million shares worth 3.46 trillion won (US$3.18 billion) with gainers outpacing losers 460 to 344.

"Local shares traded almost flat due to the rising uncertainties over the eurozone following Italy's election," said Kim Sun-young, an analyst at IBK Investment & Securities Co.

"The automatic spending cuts by the U.S. also weighed down on the market," Kim added. "However, the Federal Reserves' plan to continue quantitative easing measures led to the overall gain."

Foreigners offloaded a net 21.2 billion won worth of local shares, and retail investors sold a net 48 billion won.

Institutional investors scooped up a net 64.2 billion won.

KT&G, South Korea's largest tobacco manufacturer, moved up 1.19 percent to reach 76,500 won, and Hankook Tire, a leading tire maker, advanced 1.89 percent to 48,550 won as foreign investors scooped up their shares.

Carmakers also closed higher, with No. 1 player Hyundai Motor climbing 0.7 percent to 215,000 won and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors rising 1.65 percent to 55,400 won.

In contrast, textiles and heavy machinery maker Hyosung lost

7.29 percent to 57,200 won on its weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

Logistic firms also lost ground, with Hyundai Merchant Marine falling 1.13 percent to 17,500 won, and Hanjin Shipping losing 1.89 percent to 10,400 won.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics closed flat at 1,527,000 won, and top chipmaker SK hynix fell 1.13 percent to 26,250 won.

Electronic components maker Samsung Electro-Mechanics shed 0.32 percent to 94,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,084.40 won against the greenback, up 3.60 won from Tuesday's close, as exporters offloaded U.S. dollars, dealers said. (Yonhap News)