Stocks up for a sixth day after Fauci Omicron comments
Stocks advanced for a sixth straight session Wednesday on eased concerns about the Omicron variant. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi added 10.08 points, or 0.34 percent, to close at 3,001.8 points. The key index retrieved the 3,000-point mark for the first time in about two weeks.
Trading volume was moderate at about 482 million shares worth some 11 trillion won ($9.4 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 496 to 340.
Institutions bought a net 802 billion won, while foreigners sold 86 billion won and retail investors offloaded 689 billion won.
The Kospi got off to a strong start, backed by comments by Anthony Fauci, top medical adviser to the U.S. president, that the symptoms of the Omicron variant are most likely lighter than those of other variants.
"The 3,000-point mark seems to have become the psychological resistance threshold," said Shinhan Investment Corp. researcher Choi Yoo-joon.
"Concerns about the U.S. tapering had been already priced in stock prices," he added.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics closed unchanged from the previous session at 77,400 won, and chipmaker SK hynix lost 1.23 percent to 120,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver moved up 1.02 percent to 395,000 won, and Kakao gained 0.41 percent to 121,000 won.
LG Chem surged 5.63 percent to 751,000 won, and battery maker SK Innovation increased 2.22 percent to 207,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics jumped 4.22 percent to 914,000 won, and Celltrion rose 1.97 percent to 207,500 won.
Kakao Bank closed unchanged at 67,500 won, and payment service provider Kakao Pay jumped 3.86 percent to 202,000 won.
Game publisher NCSoft added 2.09 percent to 732,000 won, while Krafton edged down 0.11 percent to 464,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,175.9 won against the dollar, down 3.6 won from the previous session's close.
The Kosdaq gained 9.4 points, or 0.94 percent, to close at 1,006.04.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 3.9 basis points to 1.833 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 4.1 basis points to 1.47 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]