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Seoul stocks jump on U.S.-China trade optimism

15:50 October 22, 2019

SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks jumped Tuesday on the back of growing optimism over a U.S.-China trade agreement, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 24.02 points, or 1.16 percent, to reach 2,088.86. Trading volume was moderate at 495.95 million shares worth 4.7 trillion won (US$4 billion), with winners outnumbering losers 497 to 325.

The index had a solid start, tracking overnight Wall Street gains that were boosted by signs of progress toward a U.S.-China trade agreement.

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier said he hopes a trade deal will be signed by the time of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Chile in mid-November, while White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow hinted that the tariffs on China planned for December could be removed.

"The market reacted to positive messages regarding the U.S-China trade talks," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. "In particular, Kudlow's comment on possible tariff removal is a good factor for the local stock market."

Institutions were net buyers as they scooped up 444 billion won worth of shares, while foreigners purchased a net 76 billion won worth of stocks. Individual investors offloaded a net 530 billion won worth of shares on the Seoul bourse.

Most large caps were in positive terrain, with tech and bio shares leading the gains. Market kingpin Samsung Electronics rose 1.79 percent to 51,200 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 2.06 percent to 79,100 won.

Leading pharmaceutical firm Celltrion surged 5.22 percent to 191,500 won, while Samsung BioLogics shot up 1.33 percent to 344,400 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor remained flat at 122,000 won, while its sister company Kia Motors added 0.5 percent to 40,600 won.

The local currency closed at 1,169.70 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.3 won from the previous session's close.
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