Stocks rebound after Biden promises trillions in spending

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Stocks rebound after Biden promises trillions in spending

Seoul's benchmark Kospi closed at 3,112.8 on Friday, up 0.82 percent compared to the previous trading day. It is the first time since February 19 the index closed at over 3,100-mark. [YONHAP]

Seoul's benchmark Kospi closed at 3,112.8 on Friday, up 0.82 percent compared to the previous trading day. It is the first time since February 19 the index closed at over 3,100-mark. [YONHAP]

Seoul’s benchmark Kospi closed above the 3,100-mark for the first time since February on Friday, influenced by the overnight rally in U.S. stocks amid hopes of massive infrastructure investment in the United States.  
 
The index closed at 3,112.8, up 25.4 points or 0.82 percent compared to the previous trading day. It is the first time the Kospi broke the 3,100-mark at closing since Feb. 19.  
 
Foreign and institutional investors drove up the index with a buying spree. Foreign investors net bought 567.3 billion won ($503.1 million) worth of shares while institutional investors bought 371.5 billion won of shares. Retail investors offloaded 949.6-billion-won worth.  
 
Trading volume was moderate at about 781 million shares worth some 13.2 trillion won, with losers outnumbering gainers 450 to 371.
 
Stocks were boosted by market optimism over a $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal by the Biden administration, which local investors hailed as a source of momentum to help the global economy recover from the pandemic.  
 
"Local stocks gained mostly on the U.S. infrastructure spending project, the stabilized yields of the U.S. Treasury notes and the improved March exports," Hana Financial Investment analyst Lee Young-gon said.
 
Forecasts of an earnings hike also lifted the stock prices ahead of the upcoming earnings report season.
 
Auto shares performed particularly strong on speculation of global sales hike in the first quarter.
 
Hyundai Motor jumped 6.62 percent to 233,500 won, and internet portal operator Naver edged up 0.26 percent to 379,500 won.
 
Samsung Electronics added 2.29 percent to 84,800 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.36 percent 141,000 won.
 
Leading chemical firm LG Chem gained 1.1 percent to 828,000 won, but Samsung Biologics lost 0.4 percent to 744,000 won.
 
The local currency closed at 1,127.5 won against the dollar, down 4.4 won from the previous session's close.
 
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year bonds added 1.3 basis points to 1.151 percent, while the yield on the benchmark five-year government bond lost 0.5 basis point to 1.575 percent.
 
BY KIM JEE-HEE, YONHAP   [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
 
 
 
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