Losing streak snapped as Kospi gains 0.03%
Stocks snapped a two-day losing streak to inch higher Wednesday on the back of retail investors' bargain-hunting. The won rose against the dollar.
After choppy trading, the benchmark Kospi rose 0.65 points, or 0.03 percent, to close at 2,333.24. In the previous session, the index fell 2.38 percent.
Trading volume was moderate at about 725 million shares worth some 13.4 trillion won ($11.5 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 439 to 388.
Retail investors purchased a net 328 billion won, while foreigners sold a net 56 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 281 billion won.
Major tech stocks remained in positive terrain, but battery makers suffered a drop.
Chemical maker LG Chem fell 1.41 percent to 630,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI dropped 2.24 percent to 436,500 won.
Local analysts said investors were disappointed with Tesla's Battery Day, a big event for global stock markets. Investors had anticipated a new battery technology, whereas the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker just introduced a productivity enhancement strategy.
"The Kospi had started bullish on Wall Street gains, but disappointed with Tesla's announcement, investors dumped related stocks," Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
Most large caps closed lower.
Samsung Electronics added 0.69 percent to 58,600 won, and chipmaker SK hynix jumped 2.83 percent to 83,600 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics dipped 3.56 percent to 705,000 won, and Celltrion shed 0.75 percent to 266,000 won.
Amorepacific lost 0.31 percent to 162,500 won, and Korean Air gained 0.82 percent to 18,550 won.
Internet portal giant Naver jumped 4.22 percent to 296,500 won, with its rival Kakao up 3.54 percent to 365,500 won.
NCSoft jumped 2.29 percent to 805,000 won, while rival Netmarble lost 3.59 percent to 174,500 won.
Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, closed flat at 179,500 won, while its affiliate Kia Motors lost 0.65 percent to 46,000 won. The country’s steelmaker Posco edged up 0.26 percent to 195,000 won.
The secondary Kosdaq added 0.73 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 843.45.
The local currency closed at 1,164.4 won per dollar, down 0.6 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds lost 1.4 basis points to 0.883 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds rose 0.7 basis points to 0.67 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [email@example.com]
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