SEOUL, March 12 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks gained for the second day Friday as investor sentiment was boosted by the passing of the US$1.9 trillion U.S. relief package and the European Central Bank’s (ECB) move to slow the early rise in long-term borrowing costs. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 40.69 points, or 1.35 percent, to close at 3,054.39 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.6 billion shares worth some 12.9 trillion won (US$11.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 709 to 151.
Foreigners bought a net 406 billion won, extending their buying streak to a third session, while retail investors sold a net 599 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 184 billion won.
The KOSPI continued its bullish run after a 1.88 percent advance the previous session, helped by foreign buying.
Bio and tech led the KOSPI’s gain, while bank and steel shares slumped on eased concerns of the U.S. bond yields hike.
“The tech gains are largely led by the ECB’s comment about slowing down the bond yields hike and the stabilized U.S. Treasury yields,” Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
Samsung Electronics added 0.98 percent to 82,800 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 2.19 percent to 140,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor moved up 1.75 percent to 232,500 won, and internet portal operator Naver climbed 1.87 percent to 380,500 won. Leading chemical firm LG Chem rose 0.53 percent to 944,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics jumped 3.92 percent to 743,000 won, and Celltrion hiked 1.378 percent to 297,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,133.8 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.1 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 4.4 basis points to 1.223 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 7.1 basis points to 1.596 percent.