Seoul Stock Market Rises on Foreign Investment and Chip Sector Growth

SEOUL — South Korean stocks ended higher on Monday, buoyed by sustained foreign investment for the seventh straight session and strong performances in the technology and financial sectors. The local currency also saw gains against the U.S. dollar.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) increased by 31.91 points, reaching 2,674.27, a 1.21 percent rise. Trading volume was reported at 383 million shares, valued at approximately 12.2 trillion won ($9.22 billion), with a narrow margin between the number of advancing stocks at 436 and decliners at 442. Foreign investors led the buying, with net purchases totaling 590 billion won, contrasting with individual investors who sold off 622 billion won and institutions that bought 41.4 billion won.

Kim Dae-wook, a researcher at Hana Securities, attributed the market's optimism to anticipated growth in chip demand, evidenced by a significant 66.7 percent year-on-year increase in semiconductor exports in February. This marks the fourth consecutive month of growth and the most substantial rise since October 2017. Technology shares, including giants like Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, mirrored gains seen on Wall Street last week, with respective increases of 2.04 percent and 6.59 percent. Financial shares also experienced a bullish trend, alongside modest gains in other sectors such as chemicals and automotive.

The South Korean won closed at 1,331.3 against the dollar, strengthening by 0.2 won from the previous session's close.

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