Stocks close slightly higher Monday after a choppy session

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Stocks close slightly higher Monday after a choppy session

A screen in Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 2,317.14 points on Monday, up 3.45 points, or 0.15 percent, from the previous trading day.[NEWS1]

A screen in Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 2,317.14 points on Monday, up 3.45 points, or 0.15 percent, from the previous trading day.[NEWS1]

 
Stocks closed slightly higher Monday after a choppy session, backed by institutional buying. The won rose against the dollar.
 
The Kospi added 3.45 points, or 0.15 percent, to close at 2,317.14 points.
 
Trading volume was relatively low at about 408 million shares worth some 5.1 trillion won ($4 billion), with the last trading session of 2022 slated for Thursday. Losers outnumbered gainers 483 to 375.
 
Institutions bought a net 661 billion won, while foreigners sold 42 billion won and retail investors offloaded 619 billion won.
 
Stocks traded choppy after another muted start. The Kospi has fallen every session since Dec. 15, except for last Thursday, amid a pessimistic economic outlook for 2023 and monetary tightening moves in major economies.
 
The Kospi gained ground in the afternoon, as institutional investors bought stocks a day ahead of the deadline for the year-end dividend.
 
"Today's session went relatively idle, without a strong booster to raise the gaining momentum," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Jung-min said.
 
Chip losses weighed on the Kospi, while bio and auto companies advanced.
 
Samsung Electronics dropped 0.34 percent to 57,900 won, and SK hynix decreased 1.03 percent to 77,000 won.
 
Samsung Biologics added 1.99 percent to 822,000 won and Celltrion increased by 1.45 percent to 175,500 won. Hyundai Motor increasing 0.64  percent to 158,000 won. 
 
LG Chem grew 1.31 percent to 618,000 won while Lotte Chemical rose by 3.65 percent to 184,500 won. Financial firm KB Financial Group retreated 1.16 percent to 51,000 won.
 
Internet portal operator Naver gained 0.28 percent to 178,500 won. Kakao increased by 0.37 percent to 53,600 won. 
 
The local currency closed at 1,274.8 won against the dollar, down 6 won from the previous session's close.
 
The Kosdaq climbed 3.43 points, or 0.50 percent, to close at 694.68 points.  
 
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds increased 3.90 basis points to 3.664 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bonds increased 6.70 basis points to 3.747 percent.

BY LEE JAE-LIM, YONHAP [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]
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