SEOUL– South Korean stocks rallied by more than 1 percent as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary meeting results largely fell within investors’ expectations and optimism for Russia-Ukraine peace talks.
The Korean won soared by the largest margin in two years against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) advanced 35.28 points, or 1.33 percent, to close at 2,694.51 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 535 million shares worth some 11.6 trillion won (US$9.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 596 to 253.
Institutions bought a net 250 billion won and foreigners purchased 463 billion won, while retail investors offloaded 695 billion won.
Stocks opened strong, taking a cue from the overnight Wall Street rallies. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite surged 3.77 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 2.55 percent.
The Fed raised its key interest rates by a quarter percentage point from near zero and said the world’s economy is “very strong,” relieving concerns about stagflation.
Investor sentiment was further boosted by hopes for positive results from the Russia-Ukraine peace talks, following reports about indications of progress, analysts said.
“The Russia-Ukraine peace talks and a stock rebound in China and Hong Kong have added to the uptick momentum of local stocks,” Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.
In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1.14 percent to 71,200 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix surged 6.44 percent to 124,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver jumped 4.24 percent to 344,500 won, and chemical giant LG Chem surged 6.33 percent to 470,000 won. Financial heavyweight KB Financial Group moved up 1.76 percent to 57,900 won.
The local currency closed at 1,214.3 won against the U.S. dollar, soaring 21.4 won from the previous session’s close. The daily gain marks the largest since March 27, 2020 when the won soared 22.2 won.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 5.1 basis points to 2.217 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 5.7 basis points to 2.469 percent.
Source: Yonhap News Agency