Seoul shares top 2,100 points

South Korea’s stocks topped the 2,100-point barrier for the first time in nearly four years, gaining momentum from strong foreign buying and ample liquidity in the financial system.
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The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index increased 12.80 points or 0.61 percent, ending at 2,111.72 points on Tuesday. This was the first time that the figure broke the 2,100-point line since it hit a record high of 2,155.44 points in August 2011.

The record was headed by foreign buying, which has been strong over the last six trading days. Foreigners purchased a net of 395.3 billion won ($391 million) worth of local shares.

Institutional investors purchased 83 billion won and boosted the uptrend of the stock index.

Individuals, however, dumped a net 223.6 billion won worth of shares.

Banks, insurances and machinery soared by 10.43 percent, 2.59 percent and 1.99 percent, respectively. Medicines, chemicals and nonmetals were weak, falling 3.09 percent, 1.43 percent and 1.45 percent, respectively.

“The recent rise in local stocks reflects increased liquidity and the consequent boosted investor sentiment,” said Lee Jae-man, researcher at Hana Daetoo Securities.

“Last year, foreigners purchase was focused on Taiwan, but this year, their attention turned to the Korean market.”

Over-the-counter KOSDAQ fell 0.64 percent, ending at 684.97 points.

The local currency closed at 1,094 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.6 won from the previous day.



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