Seoul Stocks Rise, Boosted by Foreign Investment and Semiconductor Outlook

SEOUL - The Seoul stock market closed higher on Monday, buoyed by continued foreign investment and positive developments in the technology and financial sectors. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose by 31.91 points, or 1.21 percent, ending the day at 2,674.27.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the market saw moderate activity with 383 million shares valued at approximately 12.2 trillion won (US$9.22 billion) changing hands. The session concluded with a slight advantage in the number of declining stocks over advancing ones, 442 to 436.

Foreign investors led the buying spree for the seventh consecutive session, purchasing net 590 billion won worth of stocks. In contrast, individual investors sold off a net 622 billion won, while institutional investors made net purchases of 41.4 billion won.

Market analysts attribute the positive momentum to growing optimism surrounding the demand for semiconductors, a key export for South Korea. February saw a remarkable 66.7 percent year-on-year increase in chip exports, marking the fourth consecutive month of growth and the sharpest rise since October 2017. Technology shares, including Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, saw significant gains, riding on the back of a Wall Street rally from the previous week.

Financial shares also performed well, with notable gains in companies such as KB Financial and Samsung Life Insurance. The automotive sector, including Hyundai Motors and Kia, contributed to the market's upward movement as well.

The South Korean won strengthened against the U.S. dollar, closing at 1,331.3 won, a slight improvement from the previous session. Bond prices rose in tandem with the stock market, indicating a decrease in yields, with the three-year Treasury yield dropping 2.5 basis points to 3.36 percent.

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