Seoul shares climb
Seoul shares closed at their highest level in five months, thanks to the combination of the US Federal Reserve's stimulus move and Standard & Poor's upgrade of South Korea's credit ratings. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 2.92 percent to end Friday at 2,007.58 points, its highest closing level since April 13 and registering the sharpest daily percentage gain in nearly nine months.
Copyright Reuters, 2012
The Fed launched another aggressive stimulus program on Thursday, saying it would pump $40 billion into the US economy each month until it saw a sustained upturn in the weak jobs market. Standard & Poor's on Friday raised South Korea's sovereign credit rating by one notch to A-plus, the country's third upgrade in as many weeks. S&P said a smooth change of leadership in North Korea has reduced geopolitical risks on the peninsula.
Foreigners increased purchases of South Korean shares to a net 1.28 trillion won ($1.13 billion), the biggest amount since August 9 and the sixth straight day of net buying. Brokerages were among the best performers, with Daewoo Securities spiking 15 percent and Woori Investment & Securities soaring 10.4 percent. Suppliers to Apple Inc rebounded and outperformed the broader market after analysts were bullish about sales of Apple's newly-unveiled iPhone 5. Flat-screen maker LG Display jumped 4.8 percent and chip producer SK Hynix rallied 5 percent.