Kospi hits record as U.S. job miss suggests more stimulus
The benchmark Kospi went up 52.1 points, or 1.63 percent, to close at 3,249.3 points. The previous record closing was 3,208.99 points on April 20.
Trading volume was moderate at about 996 million shares worth some 16.9 trillion won ($15.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 690 to 180.
Foreigners bought a net 238 billion won, snapping their eight-session selling streak, while retail investors sold 1.2 trillion won. Institutions purchased a net 967 billion won.
The Kospi got off to a solid start after extending its winning streak to a third session and expanded its gains amid strong foreign and institutional buying.
Investor sentiment remained high despite increased valuation pressure as U.S. jobs increased by 266,000 in April, far short of the projected 1 million.
“Although concerns regarding higher interest rates aren’t entirely wiped, the stock market will continue to surge,” said Lee Eun-taek, a strategist at KB Securities. “The job market is sluggish, but optimism for stocks is high.”
The data vented much of the market worries stoked by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's comment that interest rates may have to rise to prevent the economy from overheating.
The U.S. government's push for big spending also fueled market beliefs that it would not consider tapering anytime soon.
"The Biden administration's active stimulus drive raised the U.S. stock market and gave an upward impetus to the local stock market," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics advanced 1.59 percent to 83,200 won, and chipmaker SK hynix moved up 0.39 percent to 130,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 1.49 percent to 816,000 won, with Celltrion jumping 3.19 percent to 275,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver climbed 0.28 percent to 362,000 won, and its rival Kakao advanced 1.31 percent to 116,000 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem retreated 0.76 percent to 912,000 won, and steelmaker POSCO increased 2.26 percent to 407,000 won. Automaker Hyundai Motor rose 2.46 percent to 229,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,113.8 won against the dollar, down 7.5 won from the previous session's close.
The yield on three-year government bonds remained unchanged at 1.137 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 0.9 basis points to 1.58 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]