Kospi hits record as vaccine rollout continues
The benchmark stock index hit an all-time high Tuesday, extending its winning streak to a seventh session amid speculation of a global economic rebound and strong corporate earnings in the first quarter. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi rose 21.86 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 3,220.70 points, the highest finish since the closing of 3,208.99 points on Jan. 25.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 14.3 trillion won ($12.9 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 671 to 191.
Foreigners bought a net 326 billion won, while retail investors sold 389 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 46 billion won.
Stocks traded higher despite increased valuation pressure, as brokerages projected strong quarterly performances by local big-name companies.
"Foreign and institutional buying drove up the Kospi," KB Securities analyst Ha In-hwan said.
"Continued vaccine rollouts and optimism for the economic recovery seem to have lifted the stock prices," he said.
Construction, financial and chemical sectors performed strong, while bio slowed on the progress in the local vaccine rollout and the fall in daily new coronavirus cases.
Most large caps closed higher, with Samsung Electronics advancing 0.72 percent to 83,900 won. Chipmaker SK hynix added 0.36 percent to 138,500 won.
Internet portal Naver edged up 0.26 percent to 391,000 won, and its rival Kakao increased 0.42 percent to 119,500 won.
Carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 0.43 percent to 229,000 won, and its sister company Kia edged up 0.23 percent to 85,900 won.
Chemical maker LG Chem rose 1.36 percent to 893,000 won and SK Innovation dropped 1.29 percent to 268,500 won. Battery maker Samsung SDI gained 0.29 percent to 690,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.84 percent to 837,000 won, but Celltrion dipped 3.07 percent to 300,000 won.
Online game maker NC Soft dropped 1.34 percent to 882,000 won.
The Kosdaq gained 2.42 points, or 0.24 percent to close at 1,031.88.
The local currency closed at 1,112.3 won to the U.S. dollar, down 4.9 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds added 0.5 basis point to 1.134 percent, and the yield on the benchmark ten-year government bond rose 1.9 basis points to 1.6 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]