SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks closed a tad higher to extend their winning streak to a third day Wednesday as investor sentiment was boosted by the country’s better-than-expected jobs data, coupled with overnight rallies on Wall Street, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the greenback.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 13.3 points, or 0.42 percent, to finish at 3,182.38. Trading volume was moderate at 1.7 billion shares worth 15.3 trillion won (US$13.7 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 485 to 351.
South Korea added 314,000 jobs last month, marking the first time that Asia’s fourth-largest economy added jobs since February 2020.
Investors’ sentiment was also boosted by overnight gains on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 closed at a record high level on the back of gains in tech shares.
Analysts said the suspended use of the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson in the U.S. is not likely to have a long-term impact on the market.
“Overnight, the issue had only a limited impact on the U.S. stock market as well. It is not likely that the issue will spread further,” said Kim Yoo-mi, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co.
Foreigners scooped up a net 104 billion won worth of stocks, while individual investors offloaded 300 billion won. Institutions bought more shares than they sold at 178 billion won.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics remained unchanged from the previous session at 84,000 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 1.79 percent to 137,000 won. Home appliances giant LG Electronics shot up 2.54 percent to 161,500 won.
SK Innovation edged down 0.18 percent, ending two straight sessions of rallies after reaching a last-minute settlement in a bitter U.S. trade dispute with LG Chem-owned LG Energy Solution earlier this week.
Top carmaker Hyundai Motor advanced 1.09 percent to 232,500 won after the firm announced its plan to resume the operation of one of its production lines following a weeklong suspension due to a chip parts shortage.
Hyundai’s smaller sister Kia Motors rose 0.58 percent to 86,000 won, and auto parts giant Hyundai Mobis climbed 2.82 percent to 310,000 won.
Leading mobile carrier SK Telecom slipped 2.17 percent to 293,500 won, and its smaller rival KT lost 0.18 percent.
The local currency closed at 1,116.60 won against the U.S. dollar, up 9.3 won from the previous session.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 3.6 basis points to 1.102 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 3.8 basis points to 1.524 percent.