Shares gain for a third day as chipmakers rally
Shares extended gains to a third session Thursday, as major chipmakers rallied amid hopes for a recovery. The won fell against the dollar.
The Kospi rose 31.53 points, or 1.33 percent, to close at 2,395.9. Trading volume was high at about 966 million shares worth some 17.2 trillion won ($14.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 456 to 367.
Foreigners bought a net 194 billion won, ending a five-day selling streak. Retail investors sold a net 97 billion won, with institutions offloading a net 134 billion won.
The Kospi's jump was largely attributed to the advances of chipmaking heavyweights, spurred by a 2.84 percent rally in the PHLX Semiconductor Index, a global gauge for the chipmaking sector.
"The steep hike in the PHLX Semiconductor Index boosted related stocks in the local stock markets," Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
Investors also pinned high hopes on optimism for Covid-19 vaccine development, in addition to the central banks' repeated signal to keep ample liquidity in the pandemic-hit financial markets.
In Seoul, most large caps traded higher.
Samsung Electronics surged 3.68 percent to 56,400 won, with SK hynix spiking 4.24 percent to 78,700 won.
Naver added 1.95 percent to 339,000 won, while Kakao shed 0.49 percent to 410,000 won.
LG Chem jumped 3.5 percent to 768,000 won, and EV battery maker Samsung SDI edged up 0.11 percent to 452,500 won.
Samsung Biologics advanced 1.17 percent to 779,000 won, while Celltrion slid 0.33 percent to 299,500 won.
Hyundai Motor added 0.28 percent to 176,500 won, and Posco rose 0.53 percent to 189,000 won.
The local currency was trading at 1,188.3 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.9 won from the previous session's close.
The Kosdaq added 7.39 points, or 0.85 percent, to close at 874.13.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 0.6 basis points to 0.919 percent, and the yield on ten-year government bonds lost 3.0 basis points to 0.64 percent.
BY LEE JEE-YOUNG, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]