WORLD NEWS TOMORROW SEOUL: South Korean stocks climbed to a four-week closing high on Monday, buoyed by expectations of further easing measures by global central banks to support growth and tame a deepening debt crisis in Europe.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOPSI) rose 0.8 percent to close at 1,843.79 points, breaking above its 50day moving average of 1,833.49 points.
Last week’s strongworded pledge from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi to do “whatever it takes” for the preservation of the euro zone triggered a striking turnaround in risk appetite, springboarding the main index from a 2012low registered last Wednesday.
Draghi’s comments bolstered hopes that the ECB, which is due to hold a policy meeting on Thursday, will step in to reduce surging borrowing costs in Spain and other indebted countries in ailing fiscal health.
“Everybody has their mind set on a resumption of the ECB’s bondbuying program … another longterm refinancing operation could alleviate the debt burden on private banks but it won’t be much of a remedy to the public debt problem which is central to the ongoing crisis right now,” said Lim Soogyun, an analyst at Samsung Securities.
“Investors are buying into expectations today before they likely go into hibernation mode until the meetings are done… if there is any good news by the end of it, we could see an extended rally and 1,900 points may be within reach,” Lim said.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is also holding a twoday policy meet starting on Tuesday, with pressure mounting on the Fed to take action after data showed U.S. GDP growth had slowed in the secondquarter, the latest sign of a flagging recovery in the world’s largest economy.
Financials outperformed with all four major South Korean banks ending in positive territory, highlighted by KB Financial Group which gained 2.5 percent while Hana Financial Group rose 2.3 percent.
Indexgiant Samsung Electronics, which takes up more than 17 percent of the KOSPI’s total market capitalization, lent support with a 3.4 percent gain, outperforming other tech peers to close at a twoandahalfmonth high.
Samsung shares have jumped nearly 9 percent over a twoday stretch since it posted a record quarterly profit of $5.9 billion on Friday, backed by strong sales of its Galaxy S mobile phones.
KT Corp, South Korea’s secondlargest mobile service provider, bucked the broader market trend to fall 3 percent after personal data from 8.7 million of its subscribers were leaked in a cyber attack.
While policy action measures look to be the central theme of the market throughout this week, investors will also keep a wary eye on a string of major economic data releases to supplement their outlook.
“This week’s China PMI data and U.S. reports on jobs and output will all need to play key supporting roles to sustain the optimism, but for now it’s got investors tied up from taking fresh positions,” said Kim Sooyoung, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities.