Shares end higher Wednesday on gains in auto and battery makers
Shares ended higher on gains in auto and battery makers on Wednesday, with investors eyeing the fallout from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan amid global recession worries. The won fell against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi rose 21.83 points, or 0.89 percent, to close at 2,461.45 points.
Trading volume was moderate at 463.71 million shares worth 6.6 trillion won ($5.03 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 576 to 266.
Foreigners bought a net 473.3 billion won worth of stocks, while institutions offloaded a net 144.6 billion won and retail investors a net 332.1 billion won worth of stocks.
Since early this week, China has suspended imports of some Taiwanese products in a warning against Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. China views Taiwan as part of its territory.
"Investors were concerned about escalating conflict [between China and the U.S.] over Pelosi's trip to Taiwan. But there was no such clash, so investors appear to have been relieved a bit," No Dong-kil, an analyst at Shinhan Investment said.
But U.S.-China tensions over Pelosi's trip remains a factor weighing on investor sentiment already spooked by a possible global slowdown and surging inflation, he said.
In Seoul, stocks closed mixed.
Hyundai Motor rose 0.3 percent to 197,000 won, Korean Air Lines climbed 0.4 percent to 25,100 won, and battery maker LG Energy Solution gained 4.8 percent to 437,000 won. Naver advanced 3.86 percent to 269,000 won and Kakao rose 5.85 percent to 76,000 won.
Among decliners, Samsung Electronics fell 0.7 percent to 61,300 won, and aircraft manufacturer Korea Aerospace Industries declined 0.9 percent to 57,700 won.
The local currency closed at 1,310.30 won against the dollar, up 5.60 won from the previous session's close.
The Kosdaq gained 11.02 points, or 1.37 percent, to close at 815.36 points.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds gained 4.9 basis points to 3.071 percent, and the yield on the 10-year government bond advanced 18.1 basis points to 2.75 percent.
BY CHO JUNG-WOO, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]