Stocks rise for 4th day straight thanks to eased Omicron worries
Stocks advanced for the fourth straight session Monday on easing woes over the impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi added 4.92 points, or 0.17 percent, to close at 2,973.25 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 468 million shares worth some 9.1 trillion won ($7.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 543 to 319.
Foreigners bought a net 97 billion won and institutions purchased 58 billion won, while retail investors offloaded 169 billion won.
Stocks got off to a weak start, taking a cue from overnight losses on Wall Street that stemmed from worries about the Omicron variant. After a choppy session, the Kospi closed higher on tech and auto rebound.
"The Kospi gained ground on investors' anticipation for chip gains and reports about the lighter-than-expected symptoms of the Omicron variant," Eugene Investment & Securities analyst Huh Jae-hwan said.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics advanced 0.93 percent to 76,300 won, and chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.42 percent to 118,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver retreated 2.49 percent to 392,000 won, and Kakao dropped 2.02 percent to 121,000 won.
Carmaker Hyundai Motor increased 0.24 percent to 206,500 won, with its sister company Kia climbing 1.7 percent to 83,900 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics edged up 0.11 percent to 901,000 won, while Celltrion fell 1.9 percent to 206,500 won.
KakaoBank declined 2.67 percent to 65,700 won, and payment service provider Kakao Pay lost 1.47 percent to 201,500 won.
Steelmaker Posco gained 1.06 percent to 287,000 won, and battery maker SK Innovation closed unchanged at 204,500 won.
Game publisher NCSoft fell 2.2 percent to 712,000 won, and Netmarble dipped 2.07 percent to 118,500 won.
The Kosdaq lost 6.6 points, or 0.66 percent, to close at 991.87.
The local currency closed at 1,183 won against the dollar, up 2.9 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 3.7 basis points to 1.864 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bond fell 8.9 basis points to 1.35 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]