South Korea’s benchmark Korean Composite Stock Price Index, or Kospi, passed a new threshold of 2,400, closing Thursday at 2,409.49, up 17.72 points or 0.74 percent from the previous session.
The Korean main bourse rose nearly 19 percent this year, the third-highest gain among the G-20 stock markets following Argentina and Turkey. Foreigners net bought 372.6 billion won, sending the Korean won to close 8.80 won or 0.77 percent higher at 1,136.3 against the U.S. dollar.
After briefly flirting with the 2,400 level on June 29, it took a breather for the last 10 days. Thursday’s boost came from overnight news from the U.S. where Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told the Congress that the bank was “very closely” watching the inflation movement to suggest that the stubbornly subdued prices could moderate the U.S. tightening schedule.
Market watchers generally agree that the Korean shares mired in the boxed range for the last decade have finally gained traction to go northbound.
A survey conducted Thursday by Maeil Business Newspaper showed nearly seven out of 10 senior market analysts upbeat about the Korean stock market.
In the survey on 32 experts - 15 research heads of securities firms and 17 chief investment officers of asset management firms and pension funds - 87.5 percent predicted the Kospi to rise steadily to break above 3,000 by the second half of 2018.
“Surprising profits of chipmakers Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have spread the optimistic mood,” said Cho Yong-jun, head of the research center at Hana Financial Investment Co. “Kospi is expected to easily reach 2,600 by the end of the year.”
By Shin Heon-cheol
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]