Stocks snap losing streak despite North's launch
Korean stocks snapped their four-day losing streak Thursday as investors bought undervalued shares on expectations of a rebound amid eased virus concerns. The Korean won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) rose 11.98 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 3,008.33 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 922 million shares worth some 13.1 trillion won ($11.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 460 to 374.
Foreigners sold a net 82 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 217 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 132 billion won.
The stock market expanded gains after a lackluster start, though North Korea launched two projectiles into the East Sea.
Strong individual buying backed the Kospi's gains, aided by eased valuation concerns and eased coronavirus curbs in Europe.
“Investors seem to have taken positive notes from improving U.S. economic indices and Germany's withdrawal of its economic shutdown proposal,” Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics advanced 0.25 percent to 81,200 won, while SK hynix lost 0.37 percent to 133,000 won.
Hyundai Motor retreated 1.36 percent to 218,000 won, but LG Chem climbed 0.51 percent to 788,000 won.
Samsung Biologics moved up 0.28 percent to 718,000 won, with Celltrion advancing 2.5 percent to 307,500 won.
Naver shed 1.81 percent to 380,000 won, and its rival Kakao declined 1.42 percent to 485,000 won.
Among big gainers on Thursday were Hanwha Solutions, which closed 6.67 percent up to 48,000 won, and boy group BTS’s agency Big Hit, which closed at 235,500 won, up 7.53 percent from the previous close.
The secondary Kosdaq index closed at 954.99 points, slightly up by 0.12 percent from the previous close.
Celltrion Healthcare rose 1.52 percent to 133,500 won, while Celltrion Pharmaceutical inched up 0.8 percent to 150,5000 won. Game company Pearl Abysslost 4.28 percent to 297,200 won.
The local currency closed at 1,133.3 won to the U.S. dollar, up 0.35 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasuries lost 2.6 basis points to 1.089 percent, and the yield on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 2.8 basis points to 1.509 percent.
BY YONHAP, SONG KYOUNG-SON [firstname.lastname@example.org]