SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks jumped more than 2 percent Tuesday on stellar advances by auto-related shares, backed by expectations of improved earnings. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 78.73 points, or 2.61 percent, to close at 3,092.66 points.

Trading volume was high at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 23.8 trillion won (US$21.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 737 to 124.

Foreigners bought a net 412 billion won, while retail investors sold a net 1 trillion won. Institutions purchased a net 596 billion won.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,092.66 on Jan. 19, 2021, up 78.73 points or 2.61 percent from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)

The KOSPI steeply rebounded after the key index slumped over 4 percent in total in the previous two sessions.

“Strong institutional buying lifted auto shares, including Hyundai Motor and its affiliates, leading the KOSPI’s hike,” Hana Financial Investment analyst Im Seung-mi said.

The gain was largely generated by the market consensus that forecast double-digit growth for Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Corp. in fourth-quarter operating profit.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 8.51 percent to 261,500 won. Its smaller affiliate Kia Motors sky-rocketed 16.64 percent to 83,400 won, and auto part maker Hyundai Mobis spiked 6.65 percent to 345,000 won.

Most other large caps also closed higher.

Samsung Electronics advanced 2.35 percent to 87,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rose 0.38 percent to 130,500 won.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem moved up 3.42 percent to 997,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI increased 3.68 percent to 732,000 won.

Internet portal operator Naver climbed 2.5 percent to 308,000 won, while its rival Kakao was up 2.92 percent to 440,000 won.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics added 1.02 percent to 796,000 won, but Celltrion lost 0.48 percent to 312,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,102.9 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.0 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.6 basis point to 0.974 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond lost 0.6 basis point to 1.297 percent.