Seoul stocks continue winning streak as optimism returns
Stocks extended their winning streak to a second consecutive session Wednesday as retail investors scooped up stocks as the speed of new Covid-19 infections decreased. The won fell against the dollar.
After choppy trading, the benchmark Kospi rose 14.82 points, or 0.63 percent, to finish at 2,364.37. Trading volume was heavy at 1.4 billion shares worth 15.5 trillion won ($13.1 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 590 to 245.
"Korean stocks traded near the 2,370 level on the back of robust U.S. data on manufacturing activity and Wall Street gains. But foreigners' net sales sent the Kospi into negative terrain at one point," Lee Kyung-min, a market analyst at Daishin Securities said.
Seoul shares got off to a strong start following overnight gains in U.S. markets, prompted by tech rallies and improving economic data.
In the morning session, the stock index pared earlier gains, but retail investors' sustained buying supported the market in the afternoon trade.
Individual investors snapped up a net 332.8 billion won. But foreigners unloaded a net 262.5 billion won and institutions sold more shares than they bought at 91.1 billion won.
Korea's daily coronavirus cases stayed below 300 for the fourth straight day Wednesday after the country recently imposed stricter social distancing across the nation.
Samsung Electronics gained 0.37 percent to 54,400 won despite the news that prosecutors indicted Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on Tuesday for his role in a controversial merger and alleged accounting fraud.
Chipmaker SK hynix added 0.4 percent to 75,500 won, while LG Electronics lost 1.37 percent to 86,500 won.
Kakao, the operator of messenger app Kakao Talk, rose 2.62 percent to 412,000 won as its game affiliate Kakao Games has drawn explosive interest in public subscription for its initial public offering (IPO).
But the country’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor fell 2.22 percent to 176,000 won, and its affiliate Kia Motors shed 2.2 percent to 42,200 won.
The Kosdaq added 13.37 points, or 1.57 percent, to close at 866.74.
The local currency closed at 1,185.40 won against the dollar, up 2.4 won from the previous session.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year bonds lost 5.4 basis points to 0.925 percent, and the yield on ten-year government bonds lost 2.8 basis points to 0.67 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [email@example.com]