Stocks rise to record high ahead of earnings reports
Stocks advanced for the second consecutive day to close at a fresh record Tuesday as hopes for strong second-quarter corporate earnings drove up tech stocks. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi increased 12 points, or 0.36 percent, to close at 3,305.21 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1 billion shares worth some 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 476 to 344.
Foreigners bought a net 224 billion won, while retail investors sold 292 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 69 billion won.
After a strong start, local stocks advanced on expectations of robust corporate earnings in the April-June period, despite concerns about the new coronavirus variant.
Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are scheduled to report their quarterly earnings guidance Wednesday.
Korea's daily new virus cases stayed in the 700s for the fourth day in a row Tuesday, prompting authorities to consider maintaining their distancing rules in the heavily populated greater Seoul.
“As the earnings season starts, investors are paying keen attention to whether the [expected earnings hike] would generate an overall upward momentum," Hi Investment & Securities analyst Park Sang-hyun said.
Samsung Electronics moved up 1 percent to 81,200 won, and chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.63 percent to 125,000 won. LG Electronics gained 1.8 percent to 170,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver slipped 0.12 percent, while its rival Kakao added 0.32 percent to 157,500 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor closed unchanged at 236,000 won, and its sister company Kia fell 0.22 percent to 88,700 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 1.96 percent to 850,000 won, and Celltrion fell 2.2 percent to 267,000 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem increased 0.34 percent to 873,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI rose 3.46 percent to 747,000 won.
The Kosdaq fell 2.37 points, or 0.23 percent, to close at 1,044.96.
The local currency closed at 1,129.7 won against the dollar, down 2.1 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds added 0.3 basis point to 1.465 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond lost 1.9 basis points to 1.43 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org],YONHAP