Stocks Hit New High at 1,993
South Korean stocks rose to a fresh high on Monday as investors scooped up financial, airline and other large-cap shares. The local currency fell against the greenback.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 9.51 points, or 0.48 percent, to close at 1,993.05. Volume was moderate at 533 million shares worth 7.98 trillion won ($8.72 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 405 to 383.
"China's rate hike decision last week didn't have a significant impact on the local stock market. But the index suffered ups and downs throughout the session as investors were burdened by recent steep gains," said Kim Hak-gyun, an analyst at Korea Investment &
On Friday, China raised its interest rate for the third time since March this year, a move seen as an attempt to keep rising inflation in check and cool the country's overheating economy.
The rate hike stoked concerns here that it could hurt companies that depend on exports to the Asian neighbor.
Financial shares were among the top performers. Top lender Kookmin Bank advanced 1.86 percent to end at 87,600 won, while leading brokerage Samsung Securities surged 2.99 percent to 93,100 won.
Airlines also closed higher, with the nation's top flag carrier Korean Air jumping 9.36 percent to 65,400 won.
Shipbuilders, however, took a beating, paring gains in other sectors. Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipbuilder, plunged 5.09 percent to close at 354,500 won and its smaller rival Samsung Heavy Industries shed 2.12 percent to 50,900 won.
Tech shares remained mixed. Industry leader Samsung Electronics closed down 0.45 percent at 658,000 won. However, its smaller rival LG Electronics rose 2.67 percent to 80,700 won. Chip-making giant Hynix Semiconductor ended unchanged at 39,200 won.
The local currency finished at 915.2 won to the U.S. dollar, down 0.3 won from Friday's close, as offshore investors snapped up the greenback, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, surged. The return on benchmark three-year Treasuries fell 0.03 percentage point to 5.38 percent and the yield on five-year government bonds also lost 0.03 percentage point to 5.45 percent.