Tapering fears ease and Kospi rises for 2nd day
Stocks advanced for the second consecutive day Wednesday as investor worries over fast tapering were partially eased by U.S. Federal Reserve comments that support its accommodative policy. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi rose 12.31 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 3,276.19 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1 billion shares worth some 17.4 trillion won ($15.3 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 595 to 271.
Foreigners sold a net 10 billion won, while retail investors bought 84 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 31 billion won.
Local stocks advanced, taking a cue from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's reassurance that the recent inflation rate has grown faster than expected but will likely stabilize down the road.
The Fed chief's remarks helped stabilize U.S. Treasury yields and triggered tech rallies on Wall Street, driving up large caps in Seoul as well.
"The fall in U.S. Treasury yields seem to have prodded investors to take a look at tech shares again, although future comments from the Fed may bring adjustments," Shinhan Financial analyst Choi Yoo-joon said.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics edged up 0.12 percent to 80,100 won, and chipmaker SK hynix climbed 1.64 percent to 124,000 won.
Internet portal Naver surged 8.31 percent to a record high of 423,500 won, with its rival Kakao jumping 6.6 percent to an all-time high of 169,500 won.
Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics increased 1.3 percent to 857,000 won, and Celltrion gained 2.74 percent to 281,500 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 0.62 percent to 242,500 won, and its sister company Kia added 0.45 percent to 90,200 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem retreated 0.83 percent to 835,000 won, while Rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI edged up 0.15 percent to 684,000 won.
The Kosdaq gained 4.90 points, or 0.48 percent, to close at 1,016.46.
The local currency closed at 1,137.7 won against the dollar, up 5.8 from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds added 0.7 basis point to 1.338 percent, while the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond lost 3.2 basis points to 1.47 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]