Seoul stocks end higher for ninth consecutive session
The Kospi gained 6.77 points, or 0.31 percent, to finish at 2,195.69. Trading volume was moderate at 695 million shares worth 12.6 trillion won ($10.6 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 500 to 347.
It marked the longest winning streak since September 2019, when the index closed higher for 13 consecutive sessions.
Analysts said Seoul shares gathered ground, as investors were mostly buoyed by the reopening of businesses across the globe amid the new coronavirus pandemic.
The growth, however, was limited as investors also awaited the outcome of the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which will provide direction on how the world's top economy will cope with the new coronavirus pandemic that has put more strain on business sentiment.
"In the Korean stock market, investors cashed in recent profits," Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities, said.
Foreigners offloaded a net 48.4 billion won, while institutions bought more shares than they sold at 218 billion won. Retail investors sold a net 168 billion won.
Shares closed mixed throughout the bourse.
Samsung Electronics moved down 0.18 percent to 55,400 won. Earlier this week, a Seoul court refused to issue an arrest warrant for Samsung Group's de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, who is under investigation over succession-related allegations.
Asiana Airlines fell 2.03 percent to 4,350 won, with the firm's top shareholder Kumho Industrial losing 5.1 percent to 7,250 won on HDC Hyundai Development's call for a renegotiation of its planned acquisition of the flight operator.
Online portal operator Naver increased 2.74 percent to 244,000 won, and its rival Kakao gained 2.95 percent to 262,000 won on the rising demand for non-contact services amid the virus pandemic.
Foodstuffs makers also closed bullish, with Orion adding 2.68 percent to 134,000 won and CJ Cheiljedang advancing 7.86 percent to 329,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,191.20 won against the dollar, down 6.50 won from the previous session.
The secondary Kosdaq was up 4.80 points, or 0.64 percent, to close at 758.62.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds remained at 0.840 percent, while the return on the benchmark ten-year government bond lost 5.3 basis points to reach 0.82 percent.
BY KIM YEON-AH, YONHAP [email@example.com]
More in Finance
Short selling divides punters big and small
Stocks dip more than 2 percent as investors book profits from recent rally
BOK head expresses concerns over rapid growth of local stock market
BOK keeps base interest rate at record low of 0.5%
Gov't-backed loans offered to all small shops from Jan. 18