International stimulus measures give Seoul stocks a boost
Stocks closed higher Monday, snapping a three-day losing streak, as stimulus steps in major economies boosted investors' appetite for risk. The won rose against the dollar.
The Kospi rose 17.42 points, or 0.79 percent, to close at 2,217.86. Trading volume was high at about 918 million shares worth some 9.3 trillion won ($11.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 561 to 284.
Foreigners bought a net 156 billion won, with institutions purchasing a net 141 billion won. Retail investors offloaded a net 298 billion won.
The Kospi traded higher on weak U.S. greenback, triggered by stimulus moves in major economies around the world, analysts said.
"The EU agreement on economic relief package weakened the value of the U.S. greenback against other currencies," Samsung Securities researcher Seo Jung-hun said, predicting a rise in foreign buying.
European leaders recently agreed on a stimulus package worth 750 billion euros ($869 billion) to revive the pandemic-hit economy.
Investor sentiment further strengthened following reports that U.S. Republicans were set to roll out a $1 trillion Covid-19 aid package plan early this week, with support from the White House.
The escalating U.S.-China tensions remained a risk, however, amid signs that virus infections may be slowing.
In Seoul, most large caps closed higher.
Samsung Electronics jumped 2.58 percent to 55,600 won, while chipmaker SK hynix lost 1.08 percent to 82,800 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem gained 0.19 percent to 517,000 won, and automaker Hyundai Motor added 0.82 percent to 123,500 won.
Internet giant Naver added 1.25 percent to 284,500 won, and its rival Kakao rose 0.62 percent to 326,500 won.
Steelmaker Posco rose 1.03 percent to 196,000 won.
Among decliners, pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics shed 0.13 percent to 754,000 won, with Celltrion retreating 0.63 percent to 317,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,196.10 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.40 won from the previous session's close.
The secondary Kosdaq added 6.43 points, or 0.81 percent, to close at 801.23.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 0.5 basis points to 0.804 percent, while the return on the benchmark ten-year government bond added 0.6 basis points to reach 0.58 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]