Stocks inch up as investors take wait-and-see approach
Stocks inched up Tuesday after a choppy session as investors took a wait-and-see stance without clear direction. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi gained 0.47 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at 2,989.24 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 615 million shares worth some 9.9 trillion won ($8.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 506 to 339.
Foreigners bought a net 89 billion won, and retail investors purchased 645 billion won, while institutions offloaded 746 billion won.
The Kospi opened slightly lower, with investors testing the waters amid uncertainty over the impact of the coronavirus and Omicron variant on health and the economy.
The key stock index lost ground in the late morning, tracking a general downturn in the Asian stock markets, including China and Hong Kong, but swung to positive terrain as the market closed.
Samsung Electronics edged up 0.13 percent to 78,700 won, and chipmaker SK hynix closed unchanged at 128,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver plunged 2.79 percent to 365,500 won, Kakao fell 2.62 percent to 111,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 2.52 percent to 888,000 won, and Celltrion fell 2.02 percent to 194,500 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor inched down 0.24 percent to 210,000 won, and its sister company Kia rose 1.09 percent to 83,500 won.
Electric car battery maker LG Chem jumped 4.21 percent to 644,000 won, and steelmaker Posco increased 2.32 percent to 286,500 won.
Game publisher NCSoft slipped 1.5 percent to 657,000 won, and Netmarble plunged 3.53 percent to 123,000 won. Krafton dropped 3.48 percent to 444,000 won.
Battery maker SK Innovation rose 2.22 percent to 253,500 won.
The Kosdaq gained 6.17 points, or 0.59 percent, to close at 1,031.66.
The local currency closed at 1,194.1 won to the dollar, up 2.3 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds gained 0.9 basis point to 1.865 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond added 11.8 basis points to 1.62 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [email@example.com]