Shares rise 0.79% as car company stocks jump
The benchmark Kospi added 16.83 points, or 0.79 percent, to reach 2,140.92. Trading volume was high at 601.77 million shares worth 5.6 trillion won ($4.8 billion), with winners outnumbering losers 428 to 382.
U.S. stocks were mixed on Monday amid lingering U.S.-China trade concerns and escalating protests in Hong Kong. The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.04 percent, but the Nasdaq slipped 0.13 percent.
In Seoul, the index got off to a solid start, thanks to bullish tech and auto shares.
Individual investors snatched up 28 billion won worth of shares, extending their buying streak to four straight sessions. Foreigners sold 40 billion won worth of shares, while institutions offloaded 14 billion won worth of shares on the Seoul bourse.
“Despite uncertainties surrounding the U.S.-China trade war and political unrest in Hong Kong, an individual investors’ buying rally pushed up the index,” said Choi You-june, an analyst at Shinhan Financial Investment. “Following reports that the United States may postpone its auto tariffs, auto-related shares increased.”
Samsung Electronics jumped 1.94 percent to 52,600 won, and chipmaker SK Hynix surged 2.34 percent to reach 83,200 won.
Automaker Hyundai Motor rose 1.62 percent to 125,500 won, and Kia Motors advanced 1.75 percent to 43,700 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis gained 1.24 percent to reach 244,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firms were among the losers, with Celltrion losing 0.27 percent at 185,500 won and Samsung BioLogics dipping 0.38 percent to 398,000 won. Korea Electric Power, the state-run utility firm, advanced 0.37 percent to 27,400 won. Posco dipped 0.22 percent to 223,000 won and Korean Air Lines gained 0.19 percent to 26,450 won.
Naver lost 0.61 percent to close at 162,000 won, while Kakao shed 0.32 percent to 153,500 won.
Telecom shares were mixed. SK Telecom gained 0.82 percent to 244,500 won and KT rose 0.92 percent at 27,400 won. LG U+ rose 1.76 percent at 13,950 won.
The Kosdaq dropped 3.77 points, or 0.57 percent, to close at 665.14.
The local currency closed at 1,160.80 won against the dollar, down 6.0 won from the previous close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, traded higher. The yield on three-year bonds rose 7.2 basis points to 1.568 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds gained 2.4 basis points to 1.94 percent.
BY KIM BYUNG-WOOK, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]