SEOUL, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) — After finishing 2020 with a stellar 30.75 percent gain, South Korean stocks pierced the 2,900-point mark for the first time on Monday, backed by hopes of a quick recovery from the pandemic. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 70.98 points, or 2.47 percent, to close at 2,944.45, extending its winning streak to a sixth day.
Trading volume was high at about 1 billion shares worth some 24.7 trillion won (US$22.8 billion), the most ever, with gainers outnumbering losers 500 to 376.
Individuals bought a net 1 trillion won, while institutions sold a net 1.2 trillion won. Foreigners purchased a net 90 billion won.
“Today’s session rallied particularly on strong retail buying and expectations of further stock price hikes,” Hana Financial Investment analyst Lee Young-gon said.
Several heavyweights in chips, autos, chemicals and secondary batteries finished at all-time highs.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 2.47 percent to a record high of 83,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix spiked 6.33 percent to an all-time high of 126,000 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem surged 7.89 percent to record 889,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI hiked 6.85 percent to 671,000 won, its highest closing ever.
Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, surged 8.07 percent to set a new record at 207,500 won.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics moved up 0.36 percent to 829,000 won, while Celltrion lost 3.2 percent to 347,500 won.
Internet portal giant Naver edged up 0.17 percent to 293,000 won, with its rival Kakao gaining 1.67 percent to 396,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,082.1 won per dollar, up 4.2 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 2.2 basis points to 0.954 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 1.3 basis points to 1.322 percent.