SEOUL, May 14 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks bounced back to gains Friday after the U.S. stock market snapped a three-day plunge that stemmed from concerns about early post-pandemic inflation. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 31.21 points, or 1 percent, to close at 3,153.32 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 822 million shares worth some 14.2 trillion won (US$12.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 506 to 343.
Foreigners sold a net 419 billion won, while retail investors purchased 385 billion won. Institutions bought a net 39 billion won.
Local stocks opened higher after slumping in the past three consecutive sessions, as upbeat U.S. labor data stoked concerns over a rate hike.
Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.72 percent, with the Dow Industrial Average and the S&P 500 went up 1.29 percent and 1.22 percent, respectively.
“The local stock index seems to have lost its direction while tracking the recent U.S. labor and price indexes,” Eugene Investment & Securities analyst Huh Jae-hwan said.
“But inflation fears seem to have eased from the Federal Reserve’s reiteration that the price hike would likely be temporary,” he said.
Tech and bio made a strong rebound in Seoul, while steel and insurance remained in negative terrain.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 2.04 percent to 80,100 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.85 percent to 118,500 won.
Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics spiked 9.4 percent to 948,000 won, following reports that the drugmaker is close to signing a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) contract to manufacture Moderna’s mRNA vaccine against the novel coronavirus.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor moved down 0.22 percent to 229,000 won, but leading chemical firm LG Chem edged up 0.47 percent to 854,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver increased 1.48 percent to 342,500 won, while steelmaker POSCO retreated 0.91 percent to 380,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,128.6 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.7 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.7 basis point to 1.116 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond closed unchanged at 1.651 percent.