Faith in Fed pushes Kospi to record 3,252 points
Stocks closed at an all-time high Monday as investors expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to reiterate its support for accommodative policies in this week's monetary policy meeting. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi rose 2.81 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 3,252.13 points, the highest closing ever.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.6 billion shares worth some 15 trillion won ($13.4 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 443 to 406.
Foreigners sold a net 24 billion won and institutions offloaded a net 333 billion won, while retail investors bought 355 billion won.
The Kospi gained for a third straight session amid optimism that the U.S. price surge in May was likely a temporary phase, short of prompting the Fed to consider tapering its asset-buying programs.
Stocks traded in a tight range the entire session as investors held on to their cash, seeking more hints over potential tapering in the world's largest economy. The China and Hong Kong stock markets are closed for holidays.
"Investors held on to their wait-and-see mode ahead of the FOMC meeting, keeping the stock index nearly unchanged," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics retreated 0.62 percent to 80,500 won, and chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.78 percent to 127,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver advanced 3.89 percent to 387,000 won, and its rival Kakao jumped 5.17 percent to 142,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics increased 0.95 percent to 853,000 won, and Celltrion gained 5.84 percent to 281,000 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor edged down 0.21 percent to 238,000 won, and chemical firm LG Chem decreased 2.71 percent to 827,000 won. Rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI edged up 0.16 percent to 639,000 won.
The Kosdaq gained 6.28 points, or 0.63 percent, to close at 997.41.
The local currency closed at 1,116.7 won against the dollar, up 5.9 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds gained 1.1 basis points to 1.287 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 1.2 basis points to 1.45 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]