Foreign buying gives Seoul stocks a big boost
Stocks rallied by almost 2 percent Tuesday on the back of massive foreign buying with tech and market heavyweights leading the gain. The won slightly fell against the dollar.
The Kospi jumped 39.13 points, or 1.76 percent, to close at 2,256.99. Trading volume was high at about 851 million shares worth some 17.2 trillion won ($14.4 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 495 to 344.
The market continued a bullish run amid massive stimulus efforts in the United States and Europe.
The weak U.S. dollar also led to strong foreign buying in emerging economies, including Korea.
Investor sentiment was further boosted by reports that an experimental Covid-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., entered final clinical trials.
A sharp drop in the number of new virus cases in Korea, as well as a slowdown in daily infections in the U.S., helped buoy the index.
Korea added 28 new cases Tuesday, up from 25 on Monday but sharply down from a four-month high of 113 on Saturday.
Foreigners bought a net 1.3 trillion won, extending their buying streak to a third consecutive session. The buying spree marks the largest since Sept. 12, 2013, when the comparable figure was 1.43 trillion won.
Institutions sold a net 217 billion won, with retail investors offloading a net 1.1 billion won.
Most large caps traded higher.
Samsung Electronics spiked 5.4 percent to 58,600 won on expectations that the company will benefit from the rising tensions between the U.S. and China. SK hynix gained 0.36 percent to 83,100 won.
Samsung Biologics advanced 0.93 percent to 761,000 won, and LG Chem jumped 2.13 percent to 528,000 won.
Internet giant Naver gained 1.23 percent to 288,000 won, and Kakao added 0.92 percent to 329,500 won.
The country's automaker, Hyundai Motor, shed 0.4 percent to 123,000 won, while steelmaker Posco surged 3.06 percent to 202,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,196.90 won per dollar, down 0.8 won from the previous session's close.
The secondary Kosdaq added 6.62 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 807.85.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 0.9 basis points to 0.813 percent, while the return on the benchmark ten-year government bond added 2.0 basis points to reach 0.61 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]