Auto and tech stocks buoy bullish Kospi
Korean stocks advanced for a second consecutive session Wednesday, as auto and tech stocks continued to rebound. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi rose 15.97 points, or 0.71 percent, to close at 3,114.55 points.
Trading volume was high at about 1.2 billion shares worth some 24.3 trillion won ($22.1 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 511 to 322.
Foreigners sold a net 236 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 1.4 trillion won. Institutions offloaded a net 1.2 trillion won.
The Kospi traded choppy after the key index rallied 2.61 percent the previous session.
The key index got off to a strong start on overnight comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen backing a large-scale fiscal relief package to reinvigorate the world's largest economy hit by the pandemic.
But the index undid much of its gains, largely on institutional selling for profit-taking.
"Despite Yellen's signal, institutional sell-offs seem to have limited the Kospi's hike after it reached the 3,100-point level," Bookook Securities researcher Lee Won said.
LG Electronics surged 12.84 percent to 167,000 won after the major home appliance maker said its mobile business is open to "every possibility" amid rumors that the Korean tech giant may sell its money-losing unit.
Samsung Electronics gained 0.23 percent to 87,200 won, and chipmaker SK hynix closed unchanged at 130,500 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem added 0.3 percent to 1 million won, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI climbed 1.64 percent to 744,000 won.
The Kosdaq rose 19.91 points, or 2.08 percent, to close at 977.66.
The local currency closed at 1,100.3 won against the dollar, down 2.6 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The return on the three-year bond gained 0.3 basis points to close at 0.977 percent, and the return on the 10-year bond gained 4.3 basis points to close at 1.09 percent.
BY LEE JEE-YOUNG, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]