SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) — South Korean shares advanced for the fifth day Friday, finishing just shy of the 3,200-point mark, as expectations of a global economic rebound and sound corporate earnings boosted investor sentiment. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 4.29 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 3,198.62 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 961 million shares worth some 14.6 trillion won (US$13.1 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 530 to 310.
Foreigners sold a net 213 billion won, while retail investors purchased 672 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 479 billion won.
The KOSPI started higher, tracking the overnight Wall Street rally that drove up the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average to all-time highs. Steep improvement in U.S. jobs and sales data raised hopes of a global economic rebound.
But trading turned choppy as foreign investors and institutions sold shares to lock in profits after the index advanced in the past four sessions.
The KOSPI bounced back to the 3,200-point mark in the afternoon, backed by market optimism for higher corporate earnings and an economic recovery.
“Foreign and institutional investors seem to have sold tech shares in the morning to take profits, but strong individual buying buoyed the KOSPI,” Kiwoom Securities analyst Kim Yoo-mi said.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics lost 0.24 percent to 83,900 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix closed unchanged at 137,500 won.
Internet portal giant Naver edged up 0.13 percent to 391,500 won, but its rival Kakao lost 1.24 percent to 119,000 won. Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor increased 0.43 percent to 231,500 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem climbed 0.67 percent to 897,000 won, while top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics jumped 3.1 percent to 831,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,116.3 won to the U.S. dollar, up 1.3 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 0.7 basis point to 1.154 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 1.2 basis points to 1.582 percent.