Hankook Tire & Technology’s Q4 Net Profit Surges but Misses Market ExpectationsSeoul Stocks Surge on Strong US Tech Earnings

SEOUL — In a remarkable quarter, Hankook Tire & Technology Co. reported a substantial increase in its fourth-quarter net profit, though it fell short of market forecasts.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the company's net profit for the fourth quarter soared to 177.3 billion won (US$134.1 million), a 358.9 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. Operating profit for the quarter also significantly increased to 492.4 billion won, up from 212 billion won a year ago. However, revenue experienced a slight decline of 1.4 percent, totaling 2.23 trillion won.

Despite these gains, the company's earnings did not meet the expectations set by analysts. A survey conducted by Yonhap Infomax, the financial data arm of Yonhap News Agency, had projected an average net profit of 295.2 billion won for the quarter. This discrepancy highlights the challenges Hankook Tire & Technology faced in surpassing market predictions.

SEOUL – South Korean shares experienced a significant upturn on Friday, climbing nearly 3 percent, driven by robust performance in the technology, automotive, and financial sectors. This rally was largely attributed to positive earnings reports from major U.S. technology companies.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) saw an increase of 72.85 points, or 2.87 percent, closing at 2,615.31.

The market witnessed high trading volumes, with approximately 580 million shares valued at 14.1 trillion won (around US$10.7 billion) changing hands. The day ended with a decisive tilt in favor of gainers, with 710 stocks advancing compared to 180 decliners.

Foreign investors and institutional buyers played a pivotal role in the day's gains, purchasing 1.89 trillion won and 642.4 billion won worth of shares, respectively. In contrast, individual investors took profits, selling 2.5 trillion won worth of stocks.

The positive momentum in Seoul followed a bullish session in the United States, where stock markets rose in response to encouraging earnings reports from Apple, Amazon, and Meta Platforms. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq composite all posted gains, fueling optimism in global markets.

Analysts pointed to the rally in undervalued sectors such as autos and financials as a key driver for the surge. Notably, major South Korean companies saw substantial gains: Samsung Electronics rose by 2.17 percent, SK hynix by 1.66 percent, while Hyundai Motor and Kia recorded jumps of 9.13 percent and 12.42 percent, respectively.

Internet companies also reported significant gains, with Naver and Kakao benefiting from high sales and user engagement. LG Chem and POSCO Holdings, leaders in the chemical and steel sectors, alongside LG Energy Solution and Samsung Biologics from the battery and biotechnology fields, respectively, saw notable increases. Financial stocks, including Shinhan Financial Group and Kakao Bank, also ended the day higher.

The Korean won strengthened against the U.S. dollar, closing at 1,322.60 won, an appreciation from the previous session. Bond prices rose as yields fell, indicating a broader market confidence.

This market performance underscores the influence of international earnings reports on local markets and highlights the interconnectivity of global financial ecosystems.

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