Stocks snap losing streak on hopes for a supportive Fed
Stocks rose Wednesday, snapping an eight-session losing streak on hope that the U.S. Federal Reserve won't take away the punch bowl too quickly. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi advanced 15.84 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 3,158.93 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 614 million shares worth some 16.5 trillion won ($14.1 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 645 to 212.
Institutions bought a net 409 billion won, while foreigners sold a net 261 billion won and retail investors offloaded 127 billion won.
Stocks got off to a choppy start, tracking a stock plunge on Wall Street that stemmed from reports of the Taliban's earlier-than-expected control of the Afghanistan capital.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.79 percent, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite retreating 0.93 percent and the S&P 500 losing 0.71 percent.
Stocks rebounded in the late morning, with investors weighing optimism that the Fed's minutes, set to be released Wednesday, will not cause market jitters about an early tapering of its accommodative policies.
Recent economic gauges in July in China and the U.S. added to the possibility of a slowdown in the pace of the global economic rebound.
"Bio and insurance stocks retreated on profit-taking, while bank and textile performed strong on favorable outlook," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Park Gwang-nam said.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics decreased 0.4 percent to 73,900 won, while SK hynix added 2.46 percent to 104,000 won.
Naver edged up 0.12 percent to 429,000 won, and Kakao rose 2.46 percent to 145,500 won. Chemical firm LG Chem moved up 0.34 percent to 896,000 won.
Samsung Biologics declined 1.88 percent to 993,000 won, with carmaker Hyundai Motor down 0.23 percent to 212,500 won. Kakao Bank shed 3.32 percent to 84,500 won on profit-taking after hitting an intraday high of 94,400 won.
The Kosdaq gained 10.03 points, or 0.99 percent, to close at 1,021.08.
The local currency closed at 1,168 won to the dollar, down 8.3 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 1.4 basis points to 1.388 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond fell 1.2 basis points to 1.26 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]