SEOUL, Jan. 5 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks refreshed their all-time high for a seventh consecutive session Tuesday on economic rebound hopes, finishing just short of the 3,000-point milestone. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

After a muted opening, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 46.12 points, or 1.57 percent, to close at 2,990.57.

Trading volume was high at about 1.5 billion shares worth some 26.3 trillion won (US$24.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 554 to 293.

Foreigners sold a net 209 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 725 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 539 billion won.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,990.57 on Jan. 5, 2021, up 46.12 points or 1.57 percent from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)

Stocks remained in negative terrain in the morning session, with global coronavirus infections exceeding 85 million and concerns over a new COVID-19 variant growing in Europe.

But the index piled back into positive terrain in the afternoon session, as expectations of a further stock price hike offset investors’ appetite for profit-taking.

Multiple brokerage houses expected the KOSPI to reach as high as the 3,300-point level.

“Individual buying has grown so strong in recent rallies, pouring a large amount of cash into the stock markets (over other equities),” Hana Financial Investment analyst Lee Jae-seon said.

In Seoul, most large caps closed higher.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1.08 percent to a fresh record high of 83,900 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix jumped 3.57 percent to another new high of 130,500 won.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.36 percent to 832,000 won, and Celltrion advanced 2.01 percent to 354,500 won.

Internet portal giant Naver slid 0.17 percent to 292,500 won, with its rival Kakao moving down 0.76 percent to 393,000 won.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem rose 0.45 percent to 893,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI hiked 2.24 percent to 686,000 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, added 0.96 percent to 209,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,087.6 won per dollar, down 5.5 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 1.8 basis points to 0.936 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 3.4 basis points to 1.288 percent.