Choppy trading ends with Kospi edging up
Stocks edged up after choppy trading Monday as investors remained cautious after a fall on Wall Street last week amid concerns about rising inflation. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi rose 2.1 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 3,127.86 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 718 million shares worth some 13.3 trillion won ($11.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 579 to 286.
Foreigners bought a net 137 billion won, while retail investors sold 336 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 205 billion won.
Stocks got off to a slow start after North Korea's state media reported earlier in the day that Pyongyang had successfully test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missile over the weekend.
Local stocks also came under selling pressure after U.S. data pointed to rising inflation in the world's largest economy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.78 percent in the previous session, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 dipping 0.87 percent and 0.77 percent, respectively.
After a choppy session, the Kospi rebounded on foreign and institutional buying.
"Investors seem to be testing the waters ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting next week," said Mirae Asset Securities analyst Park Gwang-nam. "Until then, political issues may play out [in the stock markets]."
Tech and steel closed higher in Seoul, while most other market heavyweights slumped.
Samsung Electronics added 1.33 percent to 76,300 won, and chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.43 percent to 106,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver moved down 0.49 percent to 408,000 won.
Steelmaker Posco jumped 4.17 percent to 375,000 won, while automaker Hyundai Motor retreated 0.73 percent to 205,000 won.
Kakao and its subsidiaries lost amid a political move to regulate unfair business practices in platform businesses. Kakao plunged 4.23 percent to 124,500 won, and KakaoBank tumbled 6.24 percent to 64,600 won, the lowest closing since its listing early last month.
The Kosdaq lost 11.57 points, or 1.11 percent, to close at 1,026.34.
The local currency closed at 1,176 won against the dollar, up 6.9 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds added 2.1 basis points to 1.523 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond gained 3.8 basis points to 1.33 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]