Seoul stocks inch up as investors wait for news from U.S.
Stocks advanced for the third straight session Tuesday as investors await the release of U.S. consumer price data, seeking more clues about the Federal Reserve's tapering timeline. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi added 20.97 points, or 0.67 percent, to close at 3,148.83 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 700 million shares worth some 15.4 trillion won ($13.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 607 to 251.
Foreigners bought a net 298 billion won, while retail investors sold 1.1 trillion won. Institutions purchased a net 763 billion won.
Stocks traded bullish on strong foreign and institutional buying, as investors expect the U.S. consumer prices, set to be released Tuesday, to lose upward momentum.
Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.76 percent, largely on expectations the Fed would not hurry to roll back its accommodative policies in the Federal Open Market Committee meeting next week.
"The [U.S.] consumer price index is likely to have a direct impact on the Fed's economic diagnosis related to the tapering timeline," said Hana Financial Investment analyst Lee Jae-sun.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics increased 0.39 percent to 76,600 won, and chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.94 percent to 107,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver lost 1.35 percent to 402,500 won, and its rival Kakao decreased 0.4 percent to 124,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics closed unchanged at 913,000 won, and Celltrion rose 0.38 percent to 263,000 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor climbed 1.95 percent to 209,000 won, but chemical firm LG Chem declined 1.74 percent to 734,000 won.
Kakao Bank surged 7.89 percent to 69,700 won, breaking its eight-day losing streak.
The local currency closed at 1,170.8 won against the U.S. dollar, down 5.2 won from the previous session's close.
The Kosdaq gained 11.4 points, or 1.11 percent, to close at 1,037.74.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds added 1.1 basis points to 1.534 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond lost 1.5 basis points to 1.32 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]