Seoul shares end up 2.69 % on Europe optimism
Korean stocks jumped 2.69 percent Tuesday as investor sentiment was boosted by better-than-expected European economic data that showed signs of recovery, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 49.04 points to 1,875.41. Trading volume was heavy at 437.9 million shares worth 4.8 trillion won ($4.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 572 to 261.
"Positive economic data in Europe provided a boost to a new-year rally," said Um Tae-woon, a market analyst for Bookook Securities Co. "Investors somewhat shrugged off concerns that the European debt crisis could spread into the real economy."
On Monday (Europe time), the first trading session of the year, German and French stocks rose about 3 percent as a reading of manufacturing activity in Europe improved.
"But the gain was limited as they knew that the region's debt crisis is not easy to resolve," said Um.
Foreign investors turned to net buyers, scooping up a net 295.9 billion won worth of local shares, with institutions snapping up 285 billion won.
The rally was broad-based, led by techs, banks, shipbuilders and refiners.
The world's second-largest handset maker Samsung Electronics climbed 2.31 percent to 1,105,000 won, topping the 1,100,000 mark for the first time. As a result, its total market cap reached an all-time high of 160 trillion won. Another local tech giant LG Electronics rose 1.71 percent to finish at 77,400 won.
Banks closed higher on hopes that the better-than-expected economic data in Europe will help ease risks over Europe's debt-ridden bank sector. Hana Financial Group jumped 4.7 percent to 36,750 won and Shinhan Financial Group advanced 4.42 percent to 41,350 won.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipyard, surged 5.8 percent to 273,500 won and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering hiked 6.82 percent to close at 25,050 won.
Refiners were among the biggest winners, with market leader SK Innovation soaring 6.41 percent to 149,500 won and S-Oil jumping 4.48 percent to 105,000 won.
The local currency ended at 1,150.8 won against the greenback, up 5 won from Monday's close, amid the KOSPI's rise and easing concerns over European risks, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed slightly lower. The yield on three-year Treasuries rose 0.01 percentage point to 3.35 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds added 0.02 percentage point to 3.49 percent. (Yonhap)