Foreign buying fuels market for third dayKorean shares broke the 1,980 limit yesterday for the first time this year, as foreign investors were net purchasers for the third consecutive day.
The benchmark Kospi rose 0.15 percent, or 3.03 points, to close at 1,981. Foreign investors bought 226.8 billion won ($212 million) in shares, whereas retail investors sold 169.9 billion and institutional investors sold 63.1 billion won.
Samsung Electronics jumped 0.15 percent to 1.34 million won, and LG Electronics earned 0.63 percent to 64,400 won. SK Hynix lost 1.72 percent to 37,050 won.
Hyundai Motor accelerated 0.81 percent to 248,000 won, while Kia Motors reversed 0.34 percent to 59,500 won. Hyundai Mobis gained 0.32 percent to 318,000 won.
Posco dropped 2.97 percent to 294,000 won, but Dongbu Steel jumped 9.78 percent to 4,265 won on expectations that Posco would take over the smaller steelmaker. Hyundai Steel fell 1.01 percent to 68,300 won.
Hyundai Heavy Industries rose 0.48 percent to 210,500 won as Samsung Heavy Industries stayed flat.
Naver climbed 0.91 percent to close at 780,000 won, but Daum dropped 0.13 percent to 77,300 won.
KT slid 0.67 percent to 29,700 won, and SK Telecom dialed down 1.83 percent to 215,000 won. LG U+ gained 0.48 percent to 10,500 won.
Meanwhile, the won turned in its strongest weekly performance since September as exporters sold the dollar to repatriate income before the end of the first quarter.
The won strengthened 1.1 percent this week, the biggest five-day gain since the period ended Sept. 20, to 1,069.15 per dollar at the close in Seoul. It rose 0.2 percent yesterday and touched 1,067.83, the strongest level since March 18. For the quarter, the won weakened 1.3 percent.
One-month implied volatility, a gauge of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, fell 11 basis points yesterday to 6.83 percent.
The yield on 3.125 percent sovereign bonds due March 2019 fell three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, this week to 3.15 percent, Korea Exchange data shows. It declined one basis point yesterday.
BY KIM HAE-YOON, BLOOMBERG [firstname.lastname@example.org]