SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks rose for the second straight session Tuesday on hopes for better earnings amid a global economic recovery. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 33.49 points, or 1.07 percent, to close at 3,169.08.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.7 billion shares worth some 16.1 trillion won (US$14.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 477 to 358.
Foreigners bought a net 445 billion won, while retail investors purchased 466 billion won worth of stocks. Institutions bought a net 9 billion won.
After a strong start, stocks expanded gains despite increased valuation pressure as brokerages projected strong quarterly performances of local big-name companies.
“The KOSPI advanced on a buying binge by pension fund investors and hopes of better earnings in the first quarter (this year),” said Shinhan Investment analyst Kim Yoo-mi.
Investors were also relieved by the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman’s overnight comments that a rate hike within this year is unlikely.
Chemical, bio and tech advances led the KOSPI’s gain, while construction and steel slumped.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics increased 0.96 percent to 84,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.45 percent to 139,500 won.
Internet portal giant Naver added 0.78 percent to 388,500 won, and leading carmaker Hyundai Motor moved up 1.77 percent to 230,000 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem jumped 6.24 percent to 868,000 won, and top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics edged up 0.26 percent to 784,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,125.9 won to the U.S. dollar, down 1.0 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.2 basis point to 1.138 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 1.2 basis points to 1.562 percent.