Stocks up for second straight day on earnings optimism
Stocks closed higher for the second day in a row on Wednesday amid hopes of strong corporate earnings. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi advanced 22.38 points, or 0.81 percent, to close at 2,768.85 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 530 million shares worth some 10.2 trillion won ($8.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 757 to 125.
Institutions bought a net 197 billion won and foreigners purchased 235 billion won, while retail investors offloaded 459 billion won.
After a strong start, the Kospi advanced on optimism about corporate earnings in the fourth quarter.
Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite added 1.28 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.06 percent.
Stabilizing oil prices also added to the investor sentiment.
"Oil prices stabilized after the recent surge, raising economy-sensitive stocks, such as steel and transport," Eugene Investment & Securities analyst Huh Jae-hwan said.
Samsung Electronics rose 1.63 percent to 74,700 won, and chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.8 percent to 126,000 won.
LG Display jumped 3.66 percent to 19,850 won. SK innovation inched up 0.94 percent to 215,500 won, and Samsung SDI rose 1.80 percent to 566,000 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.27 percent to 185,000 won, as Kia also added 1.77 percent to 80,300 won.
Internet portal operator Naver moved up 1.24 percent to 326,000 won, while Kakao dipped 0.46 percent to 86,100 won.
Pharmaceutical company Samsung Biologics shed 3.38 percent to 773,000 won, and Celltrion lost 0.93 percent to 160,500 won. SK Bioscience dropped 1.51 percent to 163,500 won.
Electric vehicle battery maker LG Energy Solution plunged 5.72 percent to 511,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,196.5 won against the dollar, down 1.2 percent from the previous session's close.
The Kosdaq rose 15.26 points, or 1.70 percent, to close at 910.53.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year government bonds lost 2.4 basis points to 2.279 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond increased 4.4 basis points to 1.96 percent.
BY SHIN HA-NEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]