SEOUL, March 30 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks advanced more than 1 percent Tuesday on strong foreign and institutional buying, aided by expectations of a quick global economic recovery from the pandemic. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 33.96 points, or 1.12 percent, to close at 3,070.0 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1 billion shares worth some 13.9 trillion won (US$12.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 531 to 307.
Foreigners bought a net 340 billion won, while retail investors sold 604 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 254 billion won.
The KOSPI got off to a strong start, taking a cue from a fresh peak on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, backed by the progress in the U.S. vaccine rollout.
Investor sentiment ran high as the world’s largest economy is set to unveil an extra stimulus program later this week, which includes increased spending on infrastructure. The U.S. is one of South Korea’s largest trading partners, along with China.
“The local stock markets ran higher on strong foreign and institutional buying ahead of a major economic stimulus plan in the U.S.,” Hana Financial Investment analyst Lee Young-gon said.
“Investors also seemed to have targeted companies with potential hikes in earnings, since the (quarterly) report season is near,” he said.
Most large caps closed higher in Seoul.
Top cap Samsung Electronics added 0.74 percent to 82,200 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix climbed 1.89 percent to 134,500 won.
Giant internet portal operator Naver increased 1.21 percent to 376,500 won, with its rival Kakao moving up 1.23 percent to 493,500 won.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics slipped 0.13 percent to 747,000 won, and Celltrion declined 2.12 percent to 323,500 won.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem advanced 1.13 percent to 808,000 won, and top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 1.86 percent to 219,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,133.6 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.9 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 3.6 basis points to 1.155 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 7.7 basis points to 1.607 percent.