SEOUL, Feb. 16 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks gained for a third consecutive session Tuesday, backed by signs of global economic rebound that increased foreigners’ appetite for risky assets. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 16.25 points, or 0.52 percent, to close at 3,163.25 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.9 billion shares worth some 16.9 trillion won (US$15.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 474 to 367.
Foreigners bought a net 235 billion won, extending their buying streak to a third day, while institutions sold a net 675 billion won. Individuals purchased a net 424 billion won.
The KOSPI briefly touched the 3,180-point mark in the morning session on robust foreign buying but erased some of its gains on increased profit-taking moves by institutions.
Investor appetite for risk assets increased globally, partially due to plans to ease lockdown measures in Europe, analysts said.
“We are seeing strong signs of preference for risky assets globally, boosted by potential lifting of economic lockdowns in Britain,” Bookook Securities analyst Lee Won said.
“A price hike in commodities also boosted foreign buying,” he said.
Most tech heavyweights performed well in Seoul, while bio and chemical shares declined.
Top cap Samsung Electronics gained 0.83 percent to 84,900 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 0.38 percent to 132,500 won.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem lost 1.21 percent to 978,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI declined 0.25 percent to 803,000 won.
Giant internet portal operator Naver advanced 2.2 percent to 394,000 won, with its rival Kakao moving up 2.39 percent to 514,000 won.
Pharmaceutical heavyweight Celltrion shed 2.4 percent to 325,000 won, with Samsung Biologics down 0.5 percent to 796,000 won. Top automaker Hyundai Motor closed unchanged at 247,500 won.
The local currency closed at a monthly high at 1,100.1 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.3 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 1.4 basis points to 0.984 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 2.5 basis points to 1.337 percent.