SEOUL, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks sharply rebounded to surge more than 3 percent Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman’s comments soothed inflation worries. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 104.71 points, or 3.5 percent, to close at 3,099.69 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 16.9 trillion won (US$15.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 807 to 80.
Foreigners bought a net 968 billion won, while retail investors offloaded a net 1.9 trillion won. Institutions purchased a net 979 billion won.’
Stocks got off to a strong start largely on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s overnight reiteration that the world’s largest economy still has a long way to go to recover from the pandemic fallout.
The rebound came a day after the key stock index tumbled to a month low from worries about post-pandemic inflation, heralded by a bond yield hike.
Earlier in the day, the Bank of Korea (BOK) froze the policy rate at a record low 0.5 percent, citing uncertainties surrounding the third wave of new coronavirus pandemic.
“Local stocks spiked on strong foreign and institutional buying,” said Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young. “(Such an upturn also appeared) both in the U.S. and Chinese stock markets,” he said.
In Seoul, most large caps closed higher.
Top cap Samsung Electronics added 4.02 percent to 85,300 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix increased 9.19 percent to 148,500 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor moved up 4.26 percent to 245,000 won, with internet portal operator Naver gaining 2.41 percent to 383,000 won. Leading chemical firm LG Chem advanced 3.49 percent to 890,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics climbed 3.75 percent to 775,000 won, and Celltrion soared 9.22 percent to 308,000 won.
The local currency was trading at 1,107.8 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.4 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 1.1 basis points to 0.995 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 1.8 basis points to 1.374 percent.