Good vaccine news helps Kospi rebound after 2 days
Stocks rebounded Wednesday after a two-day retreat, following a U.S. drugmaker's announcement that its vaccine turned out to be effective against Covid-19 variants. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi added 10 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 3,296.68 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.6 billion shares worth some 15.3 trillion won ($13.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 436 to 380.
Foreigners sold a net 8 billion won, while retail investors bought 31 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 52 billion won.
The Kospi got off to a bullish start, after Moderna announced that its Covid-19 vaccine produced protective antibodies against the highly contagious Delta variant.
Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.19 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both climbed 0.03 percent.
"Despite concerns about [Covid-19] variants and chances of further travel curbs, optimism over the vaccine's efficacy limited the negative impact on local markets," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics lost 0.37 percent to 80,700 won, but chipmaker SK hynix gained 2 percent to 127,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver added 1.46 percent to 417,500 won, and its rival Kakao rose 3.16 percent to 163,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics declined 0.59 percent to 841,000 won, while Celltrion added 1.32 percent to 268,500 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor closed unchanged at 239,500 won, and its sister company Kia climbed 0.11 percent to 89,600 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem increased 1.31 percent to 850,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI gained 1.75 percent to 698,000 won.
Online game maker NCSoft edged down 0.24 percent to 820,000 won, and Netmarble added 0.37 percent to 134,000 won.
The Kosdaq gained 7.44 points, or 0.73 percent, to close at 1,029.96.
The local currency closed at 1,126.10 won against the dollar, down 2.4 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 1.1 basis points to 1.448 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond lost 0.6 basis point to 1.47 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org],YONHAP