Seoul shares snap 2-day losing streak on chipmaker gains

SEOUL-- South Korean stocks snapped a two-day losing streak and rebounded nearly 1 percent Tuesday as investors scooped up large-cap chipmakers. The Korean won weakened against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) increased 25.68 points, or 0.95 percent, to close at 2,718.89 points.

Around 1.23 billion shares worth some 9.62 trillion won (US$7.78 billion) changed hands, with gainers far outnumbering losers 605 to 248.

Institutions purchased a net 360.79 billion won, while individuals and foreigners offloaded 341.41 billion won and 1.6 billion won, respectively.

Analysts said the KOSPI's rebound was largely attributable to the advances of chipmaking heavyweights, spurred by a 2.36-percent overnight rally in the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index, a global gauge for the chip sector.

"The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index rebounded overnight, following a sharp decline since late March, which had a positive impact on investors' appetite for local chip shares," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics went up 0.9 percent to 67,300 won, and key battery maker LG Energy Solution increased 0.58 percent to 435,500 won.

Major chipmaker SK hynix jumped 3.21 percent to 112,500 won, and LG Chem added 0.6 percent to 503,000 won.

Internet giant Naver gained 1.79 percent to 312,000 won and its rival Kakao went up 0.74 percent to 95,100 won.

The local currency closed at 1,236.9 won against the U.S. dollar, down 2.5 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, mostly closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys went down 0.9 basis point to 2.981 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond decreased 1.5 basis points to 3.212 percent.

Source: Yonhap News Agency