SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks jumped 1.5 percent Monday on strong advances by tech stocks. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 46.42 points to close at 3,147.0 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.6 billion shares worth some 16.6 trillion won (US$15.1 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 569 to 278.
Foreigners bought a net 728 billion won, while retail investors sold a net 347 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 421 billion won.
The KOSPI gained for a second consecutive session on strong foreign buying. Techs, chemicals and auto heavyweights performed well, while financials suffered a slump.
Positive leads from progress in U.S. stimulus talks raised offshore investors’ appetite for risk, analysts said.
Improved exports and eased social distancing measures against the new coronavirus also boosted hopes for a quick economic rebound.
“Individuals sold stocks to cut their losses, meaning that foreigners were drivers of the KOSPI’s hike (today),” said Shinhan Financial Investment analyst Choi Yoo-joon.
The country’s exports jumped 69.1 percent on-year in the first 10 days of February, with outbound shipments of memory chips and autos spiking up 57.9 percent and 102.4 percent, respectively.
Most large caps closed higher in Seoul.
Top cap Samsung Electronics gained 3.19 percent to 84,200 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 4.76 percent to 132,000 won.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem moved up 3.12 percent to 990,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI climbed 2.81 percent to 805,000 won.
Giant internet portal operator Naver jumped 5.18 percent to 385,500 won, with its rival Kakao up 2.55 percent to 502,000 won. Top automaker Hyundai Motor added 1.02 percent to 247,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,101.4 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.6 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.3 basis point to 0.998 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 2.5 basis points to 1.362 percent.