SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks gained for a sixth consecutive session Thursday amid global economic recovery hope. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 5.85 points, or 0.19 percent, to close at 3,143.26.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 16.8 trillion won (US$15 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 487 to 352.
Foreigners bought a net 107 billion won, while institutions sold 479 billion won. Retail investors purchased a net 362 billion won.
The KOSPI got off to a slow start, following the Federal Reserve’s overnight reiteration that it would continue the existing support despite positive economic data.
“The recent gain (on the KOSPI) led to a mild profit-taking move,” Samsung Securities analyst Seo Jeong-hoon said. “But continued dovish signals from the Fed would eventually help build up hopes for economic recovery,” he noted.
By sector, auto and bio stocks advanced while tech retreated.
Top cap Samsung Electronics lost 1.05 percent to 84,700 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.35 percent to 144,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor climbed 0.65 percent to 231,500 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia adding 2.11 percent to 87,100 won.
Internet portal operator Naver retreated 0.78 percent to 381,500 won, but its rival Kakao hiked 1.11 percent to 548,000 won. Leading chemical firm LG Chem edged down 0.12 percent to 810,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics declined 0.26 percent to 763,000 won, with Celltrion moving up 1.8 percent to 311,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,117.2 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.9 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 2.9 basis points to 1.152 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 4.1 basis points to 1.543 percent.