S Korean stocks end at all-time high

21:08, January 12, 2011      

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South Korean stocks ended at an all- time high on Wednesday as easing concern the European debt crisis would deepen bolstered investor sentiment, local analysts said.

According to the Korea Exchange (KRX), the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) climbed 6.63 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,094.95.

The key index rose to a record high as the improving situation in the eurozone following successful government bond sales by Greece and Italy boosted foreign investors' appetite for riskier emerging-market assets.

Firm gains in memory chip makers such as Samsung Electronics and crude refiners including SK Energy also helped the key index advance. Foreign investors were net buyers while institutions and retailers served as net sellers.

Memory chip issues posted strong gains, with Samsung Electronics, the world's No.1 memory chip maker, rising 1.86 percent and Hynix Semiconductor, the world's No.2, advancing 3.74 percent.

Crude oil refiners rose after U.S. oil prices jumped 2 percent to top 91 U.S. dollars per barrel, pointing to firmer pricing of crude oil products.

SK Energy, the country's top crude oil refiner, rose 3.98 percent and S-Oil Corp edged up 1.07 percent.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's top shipyard, surged 4.23 after the company said Tuesday it had won a 1 trillion won order to build an offshore plant.

The junior bourse KOSDAQ added 1.76 points, or 0.33 percent, to end at 535.43.

The local currency closed at 1,119.4 won to the U.S. dollar, up 5.7 won from Tuesday's close, as relief about Europe's debt problems raised appetites for risks, dealers said.

Bond prices closed higher, with the yield on three-year Treasury notes falling 0.06 percentage point to 3.54 percent.

Source: Xinhua

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