Stocks jump 1% as U.S. Fed suggests rate cutKorean stocks advanced by more than 1 percent Thursday as U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell bolstered market bets for a rate cut later this month. The won sharply appreciated against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi gained 21.8 points, or 1.06 percent, to close at 2,080.58. Trade volume was moderate at 368 million shares worth 4.93 trillion won ($4.2 billion).
The local stock market opened higher, tracking gains on Wall Street overnight.
During testimony to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, Powell hinted that the Fed is ready to cut interest rates this month.
Technology stocks were among the winners as investors appeared to bet that Japan’s export curbs could help Korean chipmakers reduce their stockpiles amid a slump in chip prices.
“Dovish comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell are expected to provide a positive lead for the local stock markets,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.
Top cap Samsung Electronics rose 1.43 percent to 46,200 won, and SK Hynix, a global chipmaker, climbed 3.57 percent to 75,500 won.
Chemical shares rose, with LG Chem rising 1.04 percent to 337,500 won, and LG Household & Health Care increasing 0.32 percent to 1,265,000 won. S-Oil moved up 2.01 percent to 91,300 won.
Top pharmaceutical firm Celltrion shot up 1.32 percent to 191,500 won, and Samsung BioLogics rose 0.67 percent to 301,500 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical moved up 3.25 percent to 302,000 won.
Naver, the operator of the country’s top internet portal, gained 1.3 percent to 117,000 won.
Hyundai Motor rose 1.46 percent to 139,000 won, while Kia Motors fell 0.23 percent to 42,850 won.
The Kosdaq rose 10.19 points, or 1.53 percent, to end the session at 677.09.
The tech-heavy index was lifted by foreign and institutional buying of semiconductor shares and a 0.7 percent rise in Philadelphia Semiconductor Index overnight.
The won closed at 1,173.50 won against the dollar, down 8.1 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.9 basis points to 1.42 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds fell 1.5 basis points to 1.55 percent.
BY KIM HE-YU, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]