SEOUL, Feb. 19 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks rebounded Friday after swerving in and out of negative terrain amid woes over a virus resurgence and rising U.S. Treasury yields. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
After a choppy session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 20.96 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 3,107.63 points.
Trading volume was high at about 3.4 billion shares worth around 19.4 trillion won (US$17.5 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 555 to 306.
Foreigners sold a net 353 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 437 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 73 billion won.
Foreigners have sold local stocks for three consecutive sessions amid concerns over rising U.S. Treasury yields.
“Concerns of a hike in U.S. Treasury yields outweigh the expectations of corporate earnings improvement,” Shinhan Financial Investment analyst Choi Yoo-joon said.
South Korea’s daily new coronavirus cases fell back to below 600, but health authorities warned that a resurgence in virus cases may occur, given a series of cluster infections at workplaces and hospitals.
Top cap Samsung Electronics added 0.61 percent to 82,600 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix jumped 5.56 percent to 133,000 won.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem edged up 0.21 percent to 941,000 won, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI retreated 2.41 percent to 770,000 won.
Giant internet portal operator Naver gained 2.58 percent to 398,000 won, and its rival Kakao rose 0.6 percent to 504,000 won. Top automaker Hyundai Motor moved up 2.76 percent to 242,000 won.
Pharmaceutical heavyweight Samsung Biologics climbed 1.28 percent to 793,000 won, and Celltrion increased by 1.27 percent to 318,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,105.9 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.7 won from the previous session’s close.