The Korea Securities Dealers Automated Quotation (Kosdaq) on Friday topped 800 during a session for the first time in 10 years before retreating to below the 800 mark on profit taking in bellwether biotech stocks.
The secondary Kosdaq index on Friday opened at 797.97, edging up 0.15 percent from a day earlier and soon surpassed 800 on institutional and retail investors’ buying. The index hit an intraday high of 803.74, the highest in 10 years since Nov. 7, 2007 when the index hit 809.29, before cooling off in the afternoon as foreign and individual investors were cashing in the recent gains. The index on Friday finished at 792.74, down 4.06 points, or 0.51 percent, from the previous trading session.
Despite the last-minute retreat, the market value of Kosdaq-listed shares on Friday exceeded 280 trillion won ($257.9 billion) for the first time since its inception thanks to the debut of Studio Dragon Corp., a TV drama producer, on the index. Kosdaq’s total market capitalization stood at 280.17 trillion won as Friday, while daily trading volume reached 740 million shares worth 6.9 trillion won.
Kim Byung-yeon, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co., cited the closure of the U.S. stock markets during Thanksgiving holidays as one of reasons that have driven investors to make bold bets on Korean stocks. But investors actively took profits in the recent gains, in particular, in bellwether biopharmaceutical and biotech shares, in the afternoon, weighing on the index.
Foreign investors also net sold 62.4 billion won worth of shares on the second bourse on Friday, driving the overall decline in the index. Institutional and retail investors, meanwhile, net purchased 68.8 billion won and 4 billion won, respectively.
Kosdaq’s top five shares - mostly biotech stocks - lost ground on Friday, with the largest market cap Celltrion Inc. falling 2.50 percent, Celltrion Healthcare Co. down 4.76 percent, SillaJen Inc. plummeting 13.92 percent, CJ E&M Corp. 1.67 percent lower, and TissueGene Inc. declining 6.79 percent.
The benchmark Kospi inched up 7.18 points, or 0.28 percent, from the previous trading session to finish at 2,544.33 on Friday.
By Jin Young-tae and Lee Eun-joo
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