SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks bounced back nearly 2 percent to recover above the 3,000-point threshold Thursday as foreign buying increased amid eased inflation concerns. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) advanced 55.58 points, or 1.88 percent, to close at 3,013.7 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 15.8 trillion won (US$13.9 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 664 to 193.

Foreigners bought a net 1.7 trillion won, while retail investors sold a net 1.1 trillion won. Institutions offloaded a net 590 billion won.

The KOSPI rebounded after losing ground for the fifth session in a row as foreign buying increased amid a slowing hike in bond yields and the U.S. currency’s value.

Overnight, the yields of the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury stabilized just above the 1.5 percent mark, soothing investor concerns over fast post-pandemic inflation.

“In today’s expiration day for futures and options, foreign buying strongly increased both in sessions and in futures,” said Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young.

“Local stock prices were also boosted by China’s stock gains and U.S. over-the-counter advances,” he said.

Chemical, bio and tech stocks made steep gains after their weeklong retreat.

Top cap Samsung Electronics rose 1.36 percent to 82,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 3.01 percent to 137,000 won.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem jumped 5.39 percent to 939,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI spiked up 8.02 percent to 687,000 won. Top automaker Hyundai Motor climbed 0.44 percent to 228,500 won.

Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics went up 4.38 percent to 715,000 won, and Celltrion added 2.63 percent to 293,000 won.

Internet portal operator Naver increased 0.4 percent to 373,500 won, with its rival Kakao leaping 4.13 percent to 479,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,135.9 won against the U.S. dollar, up 6.8 won from the previous session’s close.