Stocks jump as Evergrande put on the back burner
Stocks rebounded Monday amid easing concerns about the country's new coronavirus cases and China Evergrande Group's debt crisis. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi added 8.4 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 3,133.64 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 872 million shares worth some 12.1 trillion won ($10.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 492 to 373.
Foreigners bought a net 341 billion won, while retail investors sold 341 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 9 billion won.
After a lackluster start, the Kospi rebounded on the lower-than-expected Covid-19 cases Monday.
Foreigners purchased stocks as Korea's daily Covid-19 cases receded to slightly under 2,400 Monday from a record high of 3,273 on Saturday.
Investors were monitoring the risks from the massive $310 billion debt of giant Chinese property developer Evergrande that caused high volatility in the Asian markets last week.
"In contrast to the losses in China, the Kospi showed a relatively steady performance — investors seem to have realized that the ripples from the [Evergrande] risk may not be as destructive," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.
The U.S. Federal Reserve's chief is set to testify at a Senate hearing Tuesday.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics gained 0.52 percent to 77,700 won and chipmaker SK hynix increased 0.48 percent to 104,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver lost 0.62 percent to 403,000 won, while Kakao gained 0.42 percent to 120,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 0.22 percent to 920,000 won, and Celltrion fell 2.55 percent to 267,500 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem moved up 1.18 percent to 770,000 won, but automaker Hyundai Motor retreated 1.45 percent to 204,000 won. Kakao Bank climbed 1.01 percent to 69,700 won.
The Kosdaq fell 2.21 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 1,034.82.
The local currency closed at 1,176.8 won against the dollar, up 0.3 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 0.8 basis point to 1.566 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond gained 2 basis points to 1.45 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]