Stocks rise almost 1.5% for third straight day of gains

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Stocks rise almost 1.5% for third straight day of gains

A screen in Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 2,547.86 points on Tuesday, up 1.42 percent, or 35.78 points, from the previous trading day. [YONHAP]

A screen in Hana Bank's trading room in central Seoul shows the Kospi closing at 2,547.86 points on Tuesday, up 1.42 percent, or 35.78 points, from the previous trading day. [YONHAP]

 
Stocks rose by almost 1.5 percent to close up for a third consecutive session Tuesday, amid growing expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will go easy on its aggressive rate hikes. The won fell against the dollar.
 
The Kospi advanced 35.78 points, or 1.42 percent, to close at 2,547.86. Trading volume was high at 756.6 million shares worth 13.9 trillion won ($10.5 billion), with gainers outstripping decliners 684 to 202.
 
"U.S. stocks managed to erase earlier losses amid psychological market stability despite the U.S. economic data that showed signs of a slowdown, and that gave a positive impact on the local stock markets," Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities, said.
 
Wall Street closed mixed Monday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones ekeing out a gain and the tech-laden Nasdaq ending almost flat.
 
Market watchers are increasingly betting the Fed will raise the interest rate by 0.25 basis point at its policy meeting in May, following U.S. jobs data pointing to robust employment growth in March.
 
The U.S. consumer price index, a key gauge for the Fed's monetary policy, is also due on Wednesday.
 
Also, investor sentiment was bouyed after the Bank of Korea held its key interest rate steady at 3.5 percent for the second straight time, as inflation appears to be easing and concerns are rising over an economic slowdown.
 
In Seoul, battery maker LG Energy Solution rose 2.35 percent to 610,000 won, and LG Chem soared 7.47 percent to 806,000 won on prospects for benefits from the new U.S. law on giving subsidies for electric vehicle purchases.
 
Hyundai Motor gained 3.34 percent to 192,100 won, and Kia jumped 4.94 percent to 85,000 won on positive earnings outlook for this year.
 
Samsung Electronics finished up 0.3 percent to 65,900 won, and SK hynix also closed 1.21 percent higher to 91,800 won.
 
The local currency ended at 1,322.20 won against the dollar, up 2.5 won from Monday's close.
 
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds gained 3.9 basis points to 3.238 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bonds climbed 1.2 basis points to 3.415 percent.

BY SOHN DONG-JOO, YONHAP [sohn.dongjoo@joongang.co.kr]
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