Shares jump 1.81% on positive Greek election results
Korean stocks rose 1.81 percent Monday following the victory of pro-bailout parties in the Greek elections that could allow the country to stay within the eurozone, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) soared 33.55 points to close at 1,891.71. Trading volume was light at 354 million shares worth 4.38 trillion won ($3.76 billion), with gainers clearly outpacing losers 644 to 213.
"The upbeat election results calmed jitters that weighed down the market in recent weeks and helped fuel the day's strong gains," said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Daewoo Securities.
Greeks, who went to the polls Sunday, gave enough seats to lawmakers that want to keep the country inside the currency union so they can form a coalition government.
The country's exit could lead to serious repercussions for the global financial community as a whole and adversely hurt economic growth around the world.
Kwak Byung-ryel, a researcher at Eugene Investment & Securities, said the election outcome could help lay the foundation for normalcy to return to the bourse that had suffered losses triggered by European woes, and slower than expected growth in the United States and China.
Others, however, cautioned that despite the latest political event, the Greek problem is far from resolved since the conservative New Democracy Party and the socialist Pasok Party must form a working partnership. They said that negotiations with the European Union on how best to cope with the country's fiscal troubles that can affect other countries must move forward to fully restore market confidence.
Most big-cap shares in electronics, autos, steel, heavy industry and chemicals moved up with some financials suffering losses.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 2.14 percent to 1,243,000 won, with leading carmaker Hyundai Motor surging 3.54 percent to reach 248,500 won.
No. 2 automaker Kia Motors and leading auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis rose 2.7 percent and 2.77 percent, to 80,000 won and 278,000 won, respectively.
Global steelmaker POSCO added 1.47 percent to 380,000 won, with SK hynix, one of the leading makers of memory chips, gaining 0.85 percent to 23,600 won.
LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, moved up 1.72 percent to 296,000 won with Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipmaker, closing higher at 280,000 won, a gain of 2.75 percent from the previous session.
In contrast, top life insurer Samsung Life Insurance edged down 0.21 percent to 95,500 won with Woori Financial Holding falling 0.41 percent to 12,200 won.
The local currency finished at 1,157.05 won to the U.S. greenback, up 8.5 won from Friday's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasuries rose 0.03 percentage point to 3.30 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds moved up 0.04 percentage point to 3.44 percent. (Yonhap)