Seoul stocks rise nearly 1 pct. on strong exports, eased tapering woes

SEOUL-- South Korean stocks steeply rebounded Monday, rising nearly 1 percent, helped by robust economic data and easing concerns about the U.S. Fed's tapering timeline. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) advanced 29.7 points, or 0.97 percent, to close at 3,090.21 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 564 million shares worth some 13.2 trillion won (US$11.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 788 to 94.

Foreigners sold a net 31 billion won, while institutions bought 609 billion won and offloaded a net 572 billion won.

Stocks got off to a bullish start as South Korea's exports jumped 40.9 percent on-year in the first 20 days of August on high demand for chips, autos and petroleum goods.

The stock market extended its gains, aided by soothing comments by Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, known for his hawkish view about the U.S. tapering timeline. He said he is open to adjust his stance if the new coronavirus persists and hurts economic recovery.

"Stocks seem to have rebounded as investors stand on common ground that they have overreacted over the Fed's tapering timeline issue," said HI Investment & Securities analyst Park Sang-hyun.

In the past two sessions, the KOSPI plunged by 3.12 percent over the Fed's latest minute that hinted at possibilities of starting the tapering as early as during the fourth quarter of the year

Most large caps closed higher in Seoul.

Top cap Samsung Electronics added 0.83 percent to 73,300 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.49 percent to 103,000 won.

Internet portal operator Naver moved up 1.66 percent to 429,500 won, with pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics increasing 2.33 percent to 1,009,000 won.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem tumbled 11.14 percent to 798,000 won as U.S. carmaker General Motor said it will expand the recall of Chevy Bolt electric vehicles, equipped with LG Chem's batteries.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor climbed 1.24 percent to 204,000 won, and leader Kakao Bank retreated 1.32 percent to 89,800 won.

The local currency closed at 1,173.7 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.9 won from the previous session's close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency