Seoul stocks up for eighth straight session
Stocks extended their winning streak to an eighth session on Wednesday on the hopes for Covid-19 vaccines and optimism for a quick economic rebound from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The won rose against the dollar.
After choppy trading, the benchmark Kospi rose 13.68 points, or 0.57 percent, to close at 2,432.35.
Trading volume was high at about 753 million shares worth some 16.4 trillion won ($13.8 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 446 to 415.
Foreigners sold a net 176 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 356 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 203 billion won.
The local stock market was bearish in the morning, as investors weighed profit-taking in the weeklong rally. But it turned upward in the last 30 minutes before the session's close, with investors betting that the index has room for further growth.
"The continued rally is backed by ample liquidity, better-than-expected corporate earnings in the first half and expectations for a rebound next year," Kang Bong-joo, a researcher at Meritz Securities, said.
Investor sentiment was also boosted by rosy expectations for brisk global demand for chips and pharmaceutical products.
Large caps closed mixed with Samsung affiliates logging decent gains.
Samsung Electronics advanced 1.37 percent to 59,000 won, while chipmaker SK hynix slid 0.37 percent to 81,000 won.
Pharmaceutical company Samsung Biologics spiked 4.85 percent to 843,000 won on expectations of expanded capacity. Samsung C&T, a large shareholder of Samsung Biologics, shot up 8.14 percent to 119,500 won.
In contrast, automakers finished lower as investors cashed in part of recent gains.
Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, dipped 3.91 percent to 172,000 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors down 4.13 percent to 45,250 won.
Internet giant Naver lost 2.09 percent to 305,000 won, while its rival Kakao added 0.43 percent to 354,000 won.
Steelmaker Posco climbed 0.72 percent to 208,500 won.
The local currency was trading at 1185.30 won against the dollar, up 0.30 won from the previous session's close.
The secondary Kosdaq lost 14.63 points, or 1.70 percent, to close at 845.60.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 0.8 basis points to 0.827 percent, while the return on the benchmark ten-year government bond added 6.1 basis points to reach 0.64 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]