SEOUL, April 26 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks closed up for a third consecutive session Monday, as progress in the local vaccination campaign and strong U.S. economic data fueled hopes of a quick economic rebound from the pandemic. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 31.43 points, or 0.99 percent, to close at 3,217.53 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 15.4 trillion won (US$13.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 534 to 320.
Foreigners bought a net 392 billion won, while retail investors sold 335 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 46 billion won.
After a strong start, the KOSPI further gathered ground past the 3,200-point level in afternoon trading, led by strong advances by financial, transport and heavy industry shares.
Local investor sentiment for risky assets increased, spurred by speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve would reiterate its stance to support the world’s largest economy in the upcoming meeting this week.
“Local stocks remained in positive terrain on U.S. stock gains amid increased speculation about a global economic rebound,” said Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young. “Their gains further expanded after the government revealed plans to accelerate the country’s vaccination rate,” he said.
Over the weekend, South Korea clinched a deal with Pfizer to secure additional vaccines for 20 million people.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 0.85 percent to 83,500 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.75 percent to 131,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver slipped 0.13 percent to 377,500 won, but its rival Kakao increased 0.43 percent to 118,000 won. Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics added 0.86 percent to 819,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor climbed 0.23 percent to 221,500 won, and leading chemical firm LG Chem moved up 1.03 percent to 883,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,113.2 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.6 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.1 basis point to 1.1