SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Yonhap) — South Korean shares gained for a second consecutive session on Tuesday as investors pin hopes on the possibility that the European Central Bank (ECB) may signal further easing moves in its upcoming monetary policy meeting. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 17.69 points, or 0.74 percent, to close at 2,401.91. Trading volume was high at about 966 million shares worth some 17 trillion won (US$14.3 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 528 to 313.
Foreigners sold a net 30 billion won and institutions offloaded a net 21 billion won, while retail investors purchased a net 35 billion won.
The index closed above the 2,400-point mark as chipmakers continued to gain despite lingering valuation pressure on tech shares in major economies.
Stocks lifted on growing expectations that the ECB may extend the current low-interest rate drive on Thursday (Korea time), following the U.S. Federal Reserve, local analysts said.
“Hopes for ECB’s dovish signal, as well as an investor rush for bottom fishing, raised key European indices over 2 percent, also affecting the KOSPI,” said Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young.
The rising U.S.-China political frictions pegged foreign buying on the main bourse, however.
On Monday (New York time), President Donald Trump said he intends to curb the U.S. economic relationship with China.
Most large caps closed lower in Seoul.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics spiked 3.89 percent to 58,700 won, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix adding 1.28 percent to 79,400 won.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics shed 0.26 percent to 774,000 won, while Celltrion surged 4.26 percent to 318,000 won.
Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, lost 1.18 percent to 168,000 won, and top steelmaker POSCO dipped 0.53 percent to 187,000 won.
Internet portal giant Naver retreated 1.11 percent to 311,000 won, and its rival Kakao slipped 0.51 percent to 390,000 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem fell 1.53 percent to 709,000 won, but rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI gained 1.28 percent to 435,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,186.4 won per dollar, up 1.9 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 2.4 basis points to 0.949 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond dropped 2.9 basis points to 1.234 percent.