Stocks gain for third day on hopes for U.S. stimulus
Stocks extended gains for a third consecutive session Wednesday as investors held out optimism for progress in the U.S. stimulus talks. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi added 12.45 points, or 0.53 percent, to close at 2,370.86.
Trading volume was moderate at 802 million shares worth some 9.7 trillion won ($8.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 675 to 183.
Foreigners bought a net 6.4 billion won, while retail investors sold a net 131 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 115 billion won.
"Local stocks got a boost from U.S. peers, largely as optimism for the new stimulus plan has weakened the U.S. dollar and raised the investor appetite for risk," said Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young.
The Kospi was boxed in a tight range since most of such anticipation was already projected in the stock prices in the previous sessions, he added.
Samsung Electronics closed flat at 60,900 won, and chipmaker SK hynix shed 1.64 percent to 83,800 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.88 percent to 688,000 won, while Celltrion lost 0.61 percent to 244,000 won.
Internet portal Naver advanced 2.59 percent to 297,500 won, with its rival Kakao climbing 0.28 percent to 353,500 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem fell 0.64 percent to 617,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI edged up 0.12 percent to 433,000 won.
Hyundai Motor declined 1.19 percent to 165,500 won, while steelmaker Posco advanced 0.24 percent to 207,000 won.
Big Hit Entertainment, the management agency of K-pop phenomenon BTS, plunged 1.92 percent to 179,000 won on the fifth day of trading.
The Kosdaq rose 6.02 points, or 0.73 percent, to close at 830.67.
The local currency closed at 1,131.9 won per dollar, down 7.5 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 2.4 basis points to close at 0.936 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds gained 1.7 basis points to close at 0.78 percent.
BY LEE JEE-YOUNG, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]