Seoul stocks up 2 percent on expectations of improved earnings
Stocks jumped more than 2 percent Tuesday on strong advances by auto-related shares, backed by expectations of improved earnings. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi rose 78.73 points, or 2.61 percent, to close at 3,092.66 points.
Trading volume was high at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 23.8 trillion won ($21.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 737 to 124.
Foreigners bought a net 412 billion won, while retail investors sold a net 1 trillion won. Institutions purchased a net 595 billion won.
The Kospi steeply rebounded after the key index slumped over 4 percent in total in the previous two sessions.
"Strong institutional buying lifted auto shares, including Hyundai Motor and its affiliates, leading the Kospi’s hike," Hana Financial Investment analyst Im Seung-mi said.
The gain was largely generated by the market consensus that forecast double-digit growth for Hyundai Motor and Kia in fourth-quarter operating profit.
The country’s largest Hyundai Motor jumped 8.51 percent to 261,500 won. Its smaller affiliate Kia skyrocketed 16.64 percent to 83,400 won, and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis spiked 6.65 percent to 345,000 won.
Most other large caps also closed higher.
Samsung Electronics advanced 2.35 percent to 87,000 won, and chipmaker SK hynix rose 0.38 percent to 130,500 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem moved up 3.42 percent to 997,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI increased 3.68 percent to 732,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver climbed 2.5 percent to 308,000 won, while its rival Kakao was up 2.92 percent to 440,000 won.
Online game maker NCSoft gained 2.03 percent to 957,000 won, while rival Netmarble stayed flat at 120,500 won.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics added 1.02 percent to 796,000 won, but Celltrion lost 0.48 percent to 312,500 won.
The Kosdaq gained 13.08 points, or 1.38 percent, to close at 957.75.
The local currency closed at 1,102.9 won against the dollar, down 1 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The return on the three-year bond lost 0.6 basis points to close at 0.974 percent, and the return on the 10-year bond lost 3.8 basis points to close at 1.08 percent.
BY CHEA SARAH, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]