SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks closed back over the 3,000-point threshold Monday, led by foreign and institutional buying and strong advances by bio shares. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 80.32 points, or 2.7 percent, to close at 3,056.53 points.
Trading volume was high at about 958 million shares worth some 20.5 trillion won (US$18.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 710 to 156.
Foreigners bought a net 131 billion won and institutions purchased a net 689 billion won while retail investors sold a net 782 billion won.
Early morning trading was choppy, partially influenced by the stock frenzy related to U.S. video game vendor Gamestop that dragged down the S&P 500 index by 1.9 percent the previous session.
But the key index rebounded as foreigners and institutions turned to net buyers after a four-day selling streak. Last week, the KOSPI tumbled 5.24 percent, closing the week below the 2,900-mark for the first time since Jan. 6.
“Asian stocks generally gained (today), with the U.S. Gamestop issue seemingly concluded as a regional agenda,” Shinhan Financial Investment analyst Choi Yoo-joon said.
“Investor sentiment (in the local markets) seems to have mostly recovered from (last week’s) plunge,” he added.
In Seoul, most large caps closed lower.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1.22 percent to 83,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 2.04 percent to 125,000 won.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 2.52 percent to 813,000 won. Celltrion spiked 14.51 percent to 371,000 won, following reports that its drug Remsima SC for the treatment of autoimmune diseases won sales approval in Canada.
Internet portal giant Naver moved up 1.46 percent to 348,000 won, with its rival Kakao edging up 0.11 percent to 441,500 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem hiked 3.6 percent to 950,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI climbed 1.5 percent to 745,000 won. Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, jumped 4.15 percent to 238,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,116.5 won per dollar, up 2.3 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 2.3 basis points to 0.994 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 2.6 basis points to 1.346 percent.