Shares rise 0.54% on US, European gains
Korean stocks closed 0.54 percent higher Tuesday as investor sentiment got a boost from gains in U.S. and European markets, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved up 10.57 points to 1,967.01, a turnaround from a three-session losing streak. Trading volume was moderate at 484 million shares worth 4.10 trillion won ($3.61 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 544 to 276.
Market watchers said investors were buoyed by overall gains in the U.S. and European stocks in the wake of election results that could upset ongoing efforts to deal with serious fiscal debts in the eurozone.
"There are concerns that a change in austerity policies could cause a flareup in Europe's troubles, but the local bourse seems to have enough buoyancy to cope with such developments," said Kim Ho-yun, a researcher at Hana Daetoo Securities Co.
Because the corporate earnings season is almost over, there is no real momentum for the market to move upwards, which can cause investors to take a wait-and-see stance and track political and economic developments in the U.S. and other countries, others said.
Steel, chemicals and financial companies led the gain. Leading steelmaker POSCO rose 2.57 percent to 379,500 won while Kia Motors, South Korea's second-largest carmaker, added 1.11 percent to 81.800 won.
LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, jumped 1.36 percent to 298,000 won, with Shinhan Financial Group Co. and Samsung Life Insurance gaining 1.11 percent and 0.93 percent, respectively, to 41,150 won and 97,600 won.
Top refiner SK Innovation rose 0.98 percent to 155,000 won, with state-run power monopoly Korea Electric Power Corp. edging up 0.21 percent to 23,400 won.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics, however, lost 0.07 percent to close at 1,341,000 won, with top automaker Hyundai Motor giving up 0.78 percent to 255,500 won.
The local currency finished at 1,135.6 won to the greenback, up 2.9 won from Monday's close, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasuries inched up 0.01 percentage point to 3.39 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds climbed 0.02 percentage point to 3.50 percent. (Yonhap)