Seoul stocks inch up as investors await U.S. election result
Shares closed higher Wednesday as investors kept a watchful eye on the ongoing vote count of the U.S. presidential election. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi rose 14.01 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 2,357.32.
Trading volume was high at about 972.9 million shares worth some 14.7 trillion won ($12.9 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 441 to 377.
Foreigners offloaded a net 218.3 billion won of local stocks, and retail investors sold a net 167.2 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 344.1 billion won.
As vote counting for the U.S. election progressed, the local market swung between negative and positive terrain early in the session before gathering ground.
Some analysts have said stock markets favor a win by Democratic nominee Joe Biden, as it could give weight to the Democratic Party's push for a large stimulus deal, which has stalled amid differences with the White House.
Others noted that investors expect a stimulus deal to go through regardless of the election result.
"Whether the Democrats win or the Republicans win, the market nevertheless anticipates additional U.S. stimulus after the presidential election," KB Bank economist Moon Jung-hui said. "If the Republicans win, the stimulus is expected to be relatively smaller but would be available by the end of this year."
In Seoul, most large caps closed higher.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics spiked 4.86 percent to 733,000 won, and Celltrion moved up 4.44 percent to 270,500 won.
Chemicals company Hanwha Solutions shed 8.86 percent to close at 42,700 won.
Samsung Electronics shed 0.51 percent to 58,500 won, while chipmaker SK hynix rose 2.21 percent to 83,200 won.
Internet portal Naver jumped 5.48 percent to 298,500 won, and its rival Kakao soared 6.84 percent to 359,500 won.
Hyundai Motor moved up 0.59 percent to 171,500 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem fell 0.91 percent to 650,000 won, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI was flat at 459,500 won.
Kosdaq rose 8.51 points to close at 826.97.
The local currency closed at 1,137.7 won per dollar, up 3.6 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds shed 2.6 basis points to 0.956 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds gained four basis points to close at 0.89 percent.
BY LEE JEE-YOUNG, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]