Stocks flat as investors focus on Russia-Ukraine peace talks
Shares closed higher Wednesday as investors focused on Ukraine-Russia peace talks ending earlier in the day. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi advanced 5.67 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 2,746.74 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 825 million shares worth some 10.9 trillion won ($9 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 432 to 416.
Institutions bought a net 161 billion won, while foreigners sold 10 billion won and retail investors offloaded 138 billion won.
Stocks started solid tracking overnight gains on Wall Street.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 1.84 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.97 percent, as investors pinned hopes on easing geopolitical tensions amid the Ukraine-Russia peace talks.
"The peace talks between Russia and Ukraine sent positive signals but was not decisive, which limited the stock gains," said Kiwoom Securities analyst Kim Sae-hun.
Samsung Electronics fell 0.43 percent to 69,900 won, while SK hynix gained 0.83 percent to 121,000 won.
Naver added 1.5 percent to 339,000 won, and Kakao rose 0.95 percent to 106,500 won.
Carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 2.55 percent to 181,000 won, with Kia increasing 2.65 percent to 73,700 won.
SK bioscience jumped 3.65 percent to 156,000 won, and Celltrion advanced 2.05 percent to 174,000 won. Samsung Biologics also climbed 1.93 percent to 844,000 won.
Game publisher NCSoft gained 0.65 percent to 465,000 won, and Netmarble added 0.91 percent to 111,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,209.6 won against the dollar, sharply down 10.2 won from the previous session's close.
The Kosdaq advanced 1.24 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 939.07 points.
Battery material supplier EcoPro BM climbed 1.3 percent to 388,500 won, while Kakao Games dipped 1.87 percent to 78,700 won.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds declined 8.8 basis points to 2.614 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond decreased 6.5 basis points to 2.39 percent.
BY SHIN HA-NEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]