Stocks jump on hopes for an end to global lockdowns
The benchmark Kospi gained 33.39 points, or 1.76 percent, to close at 1,928.76.
Trading volume was high at 1 billion shares worth 8.4 trillion won ($6.7 billion), with gainers far outpacing losers 695 to 146.
The index stayed above the starting line throughout the session on the back of optimism over the gradual reopening of the global economy after countries started to ease coronavirus lockdowns, coupled with a rebound in oil prices.
"With countries continuing their efforts to develop coronavirus vaccines and drugs, the market responded positively as the reopening of the economy in each country could pick up pace and ease concerns of recession," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.
Individual investors bought a net 1 billion won worth of stocks while institutions scooped up a net 307 billion won. Foreigners offloaded a net 314 billion won worth.
Most large-cap stocks ended in positive territory.
Samsung Electronics gained 1.44 percent to 49,200 won, and SK hynix rose 1.73 percent to 82,400 won.
Hyundai Motor jumped 1.86 percent to 93,200 won while autoparts maker Hyundai Mobis advanced 2.06 percent to 173,000 won.
Naver spiked 6.53 percent to 212,000 won. Kakao added 6.97 percent, or 13,000 won, amid positive first-quarter earnings results from Kakao Bank.
Bread and cake maker SPC Samlip increased 4.10 percent closing at 73,700 won. CJ CheilJedang, which is pushing health products for parents, was up 5.72 percent reaching 286,500 won. Orion inched up 2.07 percent to close at 123,500 won.
Mobile carriers ended in a negative territory. SK Telecom slid 0.96 percent to 206,500 won. LG U+ inched down 0.39 percent to 12,700 won and KT slid 0.63 percent to close at 23,500 won.
The secondary Kosdaq was up 16.49 percent to 658.40.
The won closed at 1,222.10 won against the U.S. dollar, down 7 won from the previous session.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds lost 1.8 basis points to 0.959 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds added 2.2 basis points to reach 0.66 percent.
BY KANG JAE-EUN, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]