Stocks hit new high despite central bank rate comments
Korea's benchmark stock index hit an all-time high Thursday, supported by strong advances by technology stocks. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi advanced 9.91 points, or 0.3 percent, to close to 3,286.1 points, extending its winning streak to the third consecutive session.
Trading volume was high at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 21.1 trillion won ($18.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 428 to 411.
Foreigners sold a net 104 billion won, while institutions bought 141 billion won, ending their five-day selling spree. Retail investors offloaded a net 48 billion won.
After a solid start, the Kospi extended its gains, offsetting market concerns about how soon the U.S. Federal Reserve would start tapering its accommodative policies.
Tech stocks rallied as investors bet on a strong economic rebound. Korea's consumer sentiment increased for the sixth consecutive month in June, as the country's exports signaled a strong recovery amid progress in Covid-19 vaccinations.
The gain came despite the Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol's comments that the bank may conduct its first post-pandemic rate hike this year, noting the economy's robust recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The stock index trimmed gains after peaking at the intraday high of 3,292.27 points but bounced back toward the end of the session on strong institutional buying.
"The market shock from the Fed's quicker tapering timeline has been already projected in the stock prices in the previous June FOMC meeting," Kiwoom Securities analyst Kim Yu-mi said.
"The recent hike in exports seems to have fueled investor optimism for better corporate earnings and lifted local stock prices," she added.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics added 1.37 percent to 81,200 won, and chipmaker SK hynix climbed 1.61 percent to 126,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver lost 0.94 percent to 419,500 won, and its rival Kakao plunged 7.37 percent to 157,000 won.
The Kosdaq fell 3.84 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 1,012.62.
The local currency closed at 1,134.9 won against the dollar, down 2.8 from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds added 4.6 basis points to 1.384 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 1.9 basis points to 1.48 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE [email@example.com], YONHAP