SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks advanced more than 1 percent Friday, as vaccine distribution spurred expectations of an economic rebound amid stable oil prices. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 32.68 points, or 1.09 percent, to close at 3,041.01 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1 billion shares worth some 15.4 trillion won (US$13.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 544 to 291.
Foreigners bought a net 296 billion won, and institutions purchased a net 124 billion won, while retail investors sold 418 billion won.
The KOSPI gained for the second consecutive day as foreigners ended their five-day selling streak.
“The rebound in the U.S. and China stocks seems to have accelerated the KOSPI’s gain,” Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.
Investor sentiment improved on speculation of faster vaccination at home and in the United States.
Oil prices stabilized after days of volatility that stemmed from a container ship accident in the Suez Canal, analysts said.
Investors were also soothed by the Federal Reserve’s reiteration that its expansive monetary policy would not come until a full recovery from the pandemic.
Most large caps closed higher in Seoul.
Top cap Samsung Electronics added 0.37 percent to 81,500 won, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix climbing 1.5 percent to 135,000 won.
Giant internet portal operator Naver increased 0.79 percent to 383,000 won, with its rival Kakao gaining 2.06 percent to 495,000 won.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics advanced 0.97 percent to 725,000 won, and leading chemical firm LG Chem hiked 1.78 percent to 802,000 won. Top automaker Hyundai Motor lost 1.15 percent to 215,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,129.3 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 2.8 basis points to 1.117 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 2.3 basis points to 1.532 percent.