SEOUL– South Korea’s stock market advanced for a second consecutive session on Monday as investors went on the hunt for undervalued stocks. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 7.16 points, or 0.32 percent, to close at 2,219.71 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 487 million shares worth some 6.4 trillion won (US$4.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 538 to 322.
Foreigners bought a net 264 billion won and retail investors purchased 53 billion won, while institutions sold 318 billion won.
Stocks opened steeply lower, taking a cue from a plunge on Wall Street on Friday that spooked local investors.
The KOSPI trimmed earlier losses in the morning session and shifted into positive terrain as investors scooped oversold stocks.
On Friday, the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 3.08 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.34 percent amid woes over higher inflation. The S&P 500 retreated 2.37 percent.
A hike in U.S. consumer prices and inflation expectations for September fanned worries that the U.S. Federal Reserve may take another big step rate hike going forward.
“The stock market has been roiled excessively, particularly in a weak won-dollar situation like this, and spurred investors to go bottom-fishing,” Mirae Asset Securities analyst Park Gwang-nam said.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics increased 0.53 percent to 56,600 won, and battery maker LG Energy Solutions gained 1.76 percent to 491,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver grew 0.91 percent to 167,000 won, but chip giant SK hynix lost 0.31 percent to 95,200 won.
Top carmaker Hyundai Motor traded unchanged at 167,000 won, and major chemical firm LG Chem went up 0.35 percent to 575,000 won.
Kakao, the operator of the country’s most popular mobile messenger app KakaoTalk, closed 5.93 percent down at 48,350 won after slumping nearly 10 percent due to its service disruption over the weekend that stemmed from a fire at its data center.
The Korean won closed at 1,435.3 won against the U.S. dollar, down 6.8 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 3.2 basis points to 4.239 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 3.8 basis points to 4.245 percent.
Source: Yonhap News Agency