Stocks hit a record high as retail investors pile into market
Stocks hit a record for a seventh consecutive session Tuesday on economic rebound hopes, finishing just short of the 3,000-point mark. The won fell against the dollar.
After a muted opening, the benchmark Kospi rose 46.12 points, or 1.57 percent, to close at 2,990.57.
Trading volume was high at about 1.5 billion shares worth some 26.3 trillion won ($24.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 554 to 293.
Foreigners sold a net 209 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 723 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 539 billion won.
Stocks remained in negative terrain in the morning session, with global coronavirus infections exceeding 85 million and concerns over a new Covid-19 variant growing in Europe.
But the index returned to positive territory in the afternoon session, as expectations of a further stock price hike offset investor appetite for profit-taking.
Multiple brokerage houses expected the Kospi to reach as high as the 3,300-point level.
"Individual buying has grown so strong in recent rallies, pouring a large amount of cash into the stock markets," Hana Financial Investment analyst Lee Jae-seon said.
In Seoul, most large caps closed higher.
Samsung Electronics added 1.08 percent to a fresh record high of 83,900 won, and chipmaker SK hynix jumped 3.57 percent to another new high of 130,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.36 percent to 832,000 won, and Celltrion advanced 2.01 percent to 354,500 won.
Naver slid 0.17 percent to 292,500 won, with its rival Kakao moving down 0.76 percent to 393,000 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem rose 0.45 percent to 893,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI hiked 2.24 percent to 686,000 won.
Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, added 0.96 percent to 209,500 won, and Kia Motors lost 0.47 percent to 63,700 won.
The Kosdaq rose 8.14 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 985.76.
The local currency closed at 1,087.6 won per dollar, up 5.5 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The return on the three-year bond lost 1.7 basis points to close at 0.936 percent, and the return on the 10-year bond lost 2.2 basis points to close at 0.91 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]