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Seoul shares resume climb on program trading

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 November, 2012, 12:10pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 November, 2012, 12:18pm

Computer-generated program trading helped lift Seoul shares in the most subdued session in months, as investors stayed on the sidelines, awaiting the resumption of budget talks in the United States after the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked 0.8 per cent higher to 1,898.48 points as of 10:38 (HK Time), rebounding from last week’s three-month low.

“Program trading is lifting the KOSPI because, on such a slow day, even a small volume can push the direction of the index,” said Park Seung-young, an analyst at Taurus Securities.

Trading volume in the first hour of the session was the most muted since early August, while computerised buying in the first two hours of the session, at 159 billion won (US$146.76 million), already exceeded the daily tally of such trades on Wednesday, according to data from the Korea Exchange.

Shares in Samsung Electronics rose 2 per cent, continuing its climb to its all-time peak price of 1.418 million won hit in May this year.

LG Electronics reversed earlier losses, gaining 0.6 per cent, after tumbling nearly 4 per cent on Wednesday on market talk that the EU may impose bigger than expected fines for fixing prices of televisions.

Tech stocks were among the biggest gainers, with the semiconductor index rising 2.3 per cent, while the IT index was also up 1.5 per cent.

Hyundai Motor was the biggest loser among blue chip shares, as a strengthening won raised concerns over its profitability.

South Korean regulators warned on Thursday that they were ready to take action in the foreign exchange market to ease the pace of the won’s gain.

Winning shares outnumbered decliners 456 to 303.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.9 per cent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 1 per cent higher.


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