SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks increased Friday on hopes for a quick economic rebound, taking a cue from improved U.S. economic data. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 23.22 points, or 0.73 percent, to close at 3,188.73 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 954 million shares worth some 13.4 trillion won (US$12 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 596 to 262.
Foreigners bought a net 139 billion won, while retail investors sold 892 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 739 billion won.
Stocks got off to a strong start after the Dow Industrial Average gained 0.41 percent, as jobless data declined to a fresh pandemic low. The world’s largest economy will soon reveal a budget plan reportedly worth some US$6 trillion.
Comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also increased investor sentiment for risky assets. The current price hikes are likely to be temporary, although they may last throughout the rest of the year, she said.
“Strong U.S. data seems to have increased hopes that global economic activities are coming back to normal,” said Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young.
“Such optimism spurred the overall Asia stocks including the local stock indexes,” he said.
In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.63 percent to 80,100 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix lost 0.4 percent to 125,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver closed unchanged at 358,000 won, and giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics climbed 1.22 percent to 827,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 5.22 percent to 232,000 won, and leading chemical firm LG Chem moved up 3.61 percent to 832,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,115.5 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.6 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 3.8 basis points to 1.162 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 3.5 basis points to 1.673 percent.