SEOUL, May 31 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks advanced for a second straight day Monday after a choppy session, as investors lean towards belief that the price hike is likely temporary. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 15.19 points, or 0.48 percent, to close at 3,203.92 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.1 billion shares worth some 13.8 trillion won (US$12.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 505 to 342.
Foreigners bought a net 520 billion won, while institutions offloaded a net 781 billion won. Retail investors purchased a net 259 billion won.
Stocks got off to a weak start and continued choppy trading, as investors wonder whether signs of accelerating inflation may sap demand for risky assets.
The U.S. personal consumption expenditures index picked up 0.6 percent in April, marking the fastest on-year jump since 2008.
The KOSPI firmly gained ground in the afternoon in the belief that it is too early to take the recent price hikes as a potential trigger for the U.S. Fed’s policy change.
“Investors seem to have decided that the (April) increase in PCE is not strong enough to start the tapering talks (by the Fed), and the inflation is temporary at best,” Shinhan Financial analyst Choi Yoo-joon said.
In Seoul, top cap Samsung Electronics advanced 0.5 percent to 80,500 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 1.6 percent to 127,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver added 1.26 percent to 362,500 won, and pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics increased 2.18 percent to 845,000 won.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem shed 1.56 percent to 819,000 won, while top automaker Hyundai Motor climbed 1.29 percent to 235,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,110.9 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.6 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 6.5 basis points to 1.227 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 6.6 basis points to 1.739 percent.