Battery makers, tech shares give Seoul stocks a boost
Stocks closed slightly higher Monday due to an advance in electronic vehicle (EV) battery makers and tech shares, bucking concerns over the global resurgence of the Covid-19 infections. The won fell against the dollar.
After choppy trading, the benchmark Kospi rose 1.67 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 2,251.04. Trading volume was high at about 636 million shares worth some 13.4 trillion won ($11.2 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 515 to 325.
Foreigners sold a net 269 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 625 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 381 billion won.
The local stock market stayed in negative terrain amid the resurgence of Covid-19 infections around the world. Global cases have topped 18 million.
The political feud between the United States and China, Korea's two largest trade partners, also pushed the index into a tight range.
But the market turned higher as EV battery-related shares and China's improved manufacturing data in July boosted market sentiment.
LG Chem, the fifth-largest cap on the Kospi, spiked 11.8 percent to close at an all-time high of 635,000 won. Samsung SDI surged 4.28 percent to 414,500 won and SK Innovation jumped 1.97 percent to 129,500 won, joining the EV battery rally.
"Foreign sell-offs grew weaker after China's economic data [on the PMI] came out," said Shinhan Financial Investment analyst Choi Yoo-joon.
Large caps closed mixed in Seoul.
Samsung Electronics lost 1.9 percent to 56,800 won, and chipmaker SK hynix retreated 1.21 percent to 81,800 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.41 percent to 736,000 won.
Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, climbed 0.4 percent to 127,000 won, while its smaller affiliate Kia Motors dipped 1.73 percent to 39,700 won.
Internet giant Naver jumped 4.49 percent to 314,500 won, with its rival Kakao adding 6.55 percent to 366,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,193.40 won against the dollar, down 2.1 won from the previous session's close.
The secondary Kosdaq added 12.27 points, or 1.50 percent, to close at 827.57.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds added 0.4 basis points to 0.800 percent, while the return on the benchmark ten-year government bond lost 2.1 basis points to reach 0.53 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [email@example.com]