SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks rose for the fifth straight session Wednesday as foreign investors continued to scoop up local stocks amid growing hopes for global economic recovery. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 10.33 points, or 0.33 percent, to close at 3,137.41 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.96 billion shares worth some 14.3 trillion won (US$12.77 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 544 to 292.
Foreigners picked up a net 318.7 billion won worth of stocks for the fifth consecutive session, while institutions offloaded a net 325.2 billion won. Retail investors sold a net 17.8 billion won.
Analysts noted that the key index traded higher on hopes that the global economy could recover faster than expected from the pandemic-induced slump as countries accelerate their vaccination campaigns.
The International Monetary Fund raised this year’s global economic growth forecast to 6 percent from its earlier estimate of 5.5 percent.
“The upward revision accounts for the faster-than-expected economic recovery from policy measures around the world as well as the impact in the second half of the year from additional fiscal measures by advanced economies and the rollout of vaccines, which will strengthen the momentum for economic recovery,” Kiwoom Securities analyst Kim Yoo-mi said.
The KOSPI, however, trimmed earlier gains in the afternoon as investors weighed a potential resurgence of the virus after South Korea reported the most daily coronavirus cases since early January.
Large caps closed mixed.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics, which expects forecast-beating first-quarter earnings, shed 0.47 percent to 85,600 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.35 percent to 143,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver declined 1.03 percent to 384,500 won, while rival Kakao slipped 0.37 percent to 542,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics added 1.46 percent to 765,000 won, while Celltrion advanced 0.82 percent to 306,000 won.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem inched down 0.12 percent to 811,000 won, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI gained 1.87 percent to 654,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor remained unchanged at 230,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,116.3 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.3 won from the previous session’s close.