Stocks rise for second session on hopes for ECB
Stocks gained for a second consecutive session on Tuesday as investors pin hopes on the possibility that the European Central Bank (ECB) may signal further easing moves in an upcoming monetary policy meeting. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi rose 17.69 points, or 0.74 percent, to close at 2,401.91. Trading volume was high at about 966 million shares worth some 17 trillion won ($14.3 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 528 to 313.
Foreigners sold a net 30 billion won and institutions offloaded a net 21 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 35 billion won.
The index closed above the 2,400-point mark as chipmakers continued to gain despite lingering valuation pressure on tech shares in major economies.
Stocks lifted on growing expectations that the ECB may extend the current low-interest rate drive on Thursday, following the U.S. Federal Reserve, local analysts said.
"Hopes for ECB's dovish signal, as well as an investor rush for bottom fishing, raised key European indices over 2 percent, also affecting the Kospi," said Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young.
Most large caps closed lower in Seoul.
Samsung Electronics spiked 3.89 percent to 58,700 won, with chipmaker SK hynix adding 1.28 percent to 79,400 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics shed 0.26 percent to 774,000 won, while drug maker Celltrion surged 4.26 percent to 318,000 won.
Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, lost 1.18 percent to 168,000 won while its affiliate Kia Motors stayed flat at 42,300 won.
Steelmaker Posco dipped 0.53 percent to 187,000 won.
Internet portal giant Naver retreated 1.11 percent to 311,000 won, and its rival Kakao, the operator of messenger app KakaoTalk, slipped 0.51 percent to 390,000 won.
Leading online game maker NCSoft lost 0.12 percent to 811,000 won, while rival Netmarble shed 0.26 percent to 193,000 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem fell 1.53 percent to 709,000 won, but rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI gained 1.28 percent to 435,500 won.
The Kosdaq lost 0.59 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 878.29.
The local currency closed at 1,186.4 won per dollar, down 1.9 won from the previous session's close.
The yield on three-year bonds lost 2.2 basis points to 0.950 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]