SEOUL, March 16 (Yonhap) — South Korean stocks finished higher Tuesday on optimism for a quick economic recovery in major economies. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 21.46 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 3,067.17 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 1.1 billion shares worth some 12.8 trillion won (US$11.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 558 to 279.

Foreigners sold a net 28 billion won while institutions purchased a net 250 billion won. Retail investors offloaded a net 233 billion won.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,067.17 on March 16, 2021, up 21.46 points or 0.7 percent from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)

The KOSPI started the morning with mild gains and extended gains through the afternoon on strong institutional buying.

The passing of the US$1.9 trillion relief package set the ground for the KOSPI’s hike, in addition to the expanding vaccinations in major global markets, including the U.S. and China, analysts said.

“Investors seem to have rotated cash among domestic-targeted stocks on stimulus hopes in major economies,” Lee Jae-sun said.

Top cap Samsung Electronics gained 1.22 percent to 82,800 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 2.93 percent to 140,500 won.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem plunged 7.76 percent to 891,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI declined 0.87 percent to 680,000 won. Top automaker Hyundai Motor climbed 0.86 percent to 234,000 won.

Giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics edged down 0.27 percent to 733,000 won, while top internet portal operator Naver rose 0.65 percent to 385,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,129.7 won against the U.S. dollar, up 6.6 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 6.1 basis points to 1.177 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 1.9 basis points to 1.602 percent.