SEOUL: S.Korean shares rebound on upbeat China data

Korean shares rebounded first in nine sessions on Thursday as sentiment was boosted by better-than- expected trade data from China, South Korea’s biggest trade partner.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 10. 72 points, or 0.55 percent to close at 1,950.60. Trading volume amounted to 218.94 million shares worth 3.82 trillion won (3.73 billion U.S. dollars).

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After fluctuating in a narrow orbit in early trading, the KOSPI turned upward as trade data from China was better than anticipated.

Trade surplus of the world number two economy recorded 18.46 billion dollars in April, exceeding the market expectations of 16. 7 billion dollars.

Both exports and imports in China increased 0.9 percent and 0.8 percent respectively in April from a year before, suggesting the economy sustained a modest growth trend.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said overnight that the Fed will hold “a high point of monetary accommodation,” indicating the Fed’s rate hike will not occur in the foreseeable future.

Retail investors purchased shares worth 163.8 billion won, holding back their buying trends for the ninth successive season. Local institutions bought shares worth 40.4 billion acquired, but foreigners dumped stocks worth 213.4 billion won.

Foreigners have continued to sell off local stocks over the past six sessions as they regarded the local stocks overvalued, market watchers said. Most big-cap shares ended bullish.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.5 percent and top automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 2.5 percent.

The nation’s number one automobile parts maker Hyundai Mobis climbed 2.1 percent, and top mobile operator SK Telecom gained 1.9 percent.

The South Korean currency finished at 1,022.6 won against the greenback, down 0.1 won from Wednesday’s close. Bond prices ended flat.

The fruit on the liquid three-year treasury notes closed unchanged at 2.85 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bonds finished steady at 3.46 percent.

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