Kospi closes at record high for third day in a row
Stocks hit a record for the third consecutive session Wednesday as investors scooped up blue-chip shares ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve's meeting results. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi gained 20.05 points, or 0.62 percent, to finish at 3,278.68. Trading volume was moderate at 2.2 billion shares worth 15.9 trillion won ($14.23 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 519 to 324.
The index extended its winning streak to five sessions.
Analysts said Seoul shares gathered ground as investors bet on the recovery of the U.S. economy, boosted by improved U.S. industrial output released this week.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved down 0.27 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell 0.71 percent, amid the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting that runs through Wednesday.
"The accelerating speed of vaccinations indicates the normalization of the economy. This may also lead to an increase in U.S.-bound exports for South Korean firms," Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Mirae Asset Securities, said.
Foreigners bought more shares than they sold at a net 234 billion won, while retail investors offloaded a net 284 billion won. Institutions were net buyers at 45 billion won.
Samsung Electronics advanced 1.1 percent to 81,800 won, and chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.78 percent to 129,500 won.
Auto maker Hyundai Motor rose 1.05 percent to 239,500 won and Kia gained 0.79 percent to 89,100 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis gained 0.17 percent to 289,500 won.
Cosmetics firm Amorepacific climbed 0.71 percent to 284,000 won, and LG Household & Health Care gained 6.69 percent to 1,675,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver increased 1.03 percent to 391,000 won, while its rival Kakao lost 1.04 percent to 143,000 won. Rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI gained 0.46 percent to 656,000 won.
The Kosdaq gained 1.12 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 998.49.
The local currency closed at 1,117.20 won against the dollar, up 0.20 won from the previous session.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds fell 2.1 basis points to 1.286 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bond lost 0.01 basis point to 1.50 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]