Seoul shares advance for 2nd straight session on tech, auto gains

SEOUL– South Korean stocks advanced for a second straight session Monday, as institutions and foreigners picked up tech, auto and other issues oversold in the wake of the Legoland fiasco. The Korean won jumped against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 23.36 points, or 0.99 percent, to close at 2,371.79 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 386 million shares worth some 8 trillion won (US$5.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 627 to 248.

Institutions bought a net 277 billion won and foreigners purchased 112 billion won, while retail investors offloaded 406 billion won.
Tech and auto giants led the KOSPI’s hike after a media report that the chair of Boeing Co. met with top officials of Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor Group and Hanwha Solutions to discuss new business cooperation.

Huh Jae-hwan, researcher at Eugene Investment & Securities Co., attributed the KOSPI’s gain to a technical rebound from the Legoland fiasco that froze investor sentiment in September.

“The KOSPI seems to have undone much of the losses from mid-September, when the stock market plunged in the wake of the Legoland fiasco.”

Financial market volatility had risen in the wake of a recent default of a municipal government-guaranteed debt involving the construction of the Legoland theme park. The incident amplified woes for investors that had already been grappling with uncertainty from global monetary tightening and the economic recession.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.35 percent to 60,200 won. Top automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 3.99 percent to 169,500 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia rising 2.76 percent to 67,100 won.

Hanwha Aerospace plunged 5.33 percent to 71,000 won after getting off to a strong start.

The South Korean currency closed at 1,401.2 won against the U.S. dollar, up 9.4 won from the previous session’s finish. The won-dollar exchange rat fell below 1,400 at one point for the first time since Oct. 6.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 6.8 basis points to 4.186 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 8.4 basis points to 4.284 percent.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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