Seoul stocks snap 3-day losing streak on fall in oil prices, eased election uncertainties

SEOUL-- South Korean stocks jumped over 2 percent to end their three-day losing streak Thursday on the back of a steep fall in oil prices and eased uncertainties after the presidential election results. The Korean won sharply rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) advanced 57.92 points, or 2.21 percent, to close at 2,680.32 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 604 million shares worth some 13.5 trillion won (US$11 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 698 to 184.

Institutions bought a net 766 billion won, while foreigners sold 426 billion won and retail investors offloaded 354 billion won.

Stocks opened sharply higher, tracking overnight rallies on Wall Street that stemmed from a plunge in oil and commodity prices.

Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite surged 3.59 percent, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 2 percent, largely as oil prices dipped more than 10 percent on expectations of a production increase.

Investor sentiment also ran high as the country elected a new president.

"A fall in oil prices stabilized the commodity prices and eased the inflation worries, pulling up the local stocks. The eased election uncertainties also helped buoy the construction and other sectors, adding to the overall stock gains," Cape Investment & Securities analyst Na Jeong-hwan said.

Most large caps closed higher with construction, retail and tech leading the market gain.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 2.45 percent to 71,200 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.69 percent to 120,000 won.

Internet portal operator Naver soared 8.54 percent to 330,500 won, with Kakao surging 8.58 percent to 100,000 won. Bio heavyweight Samsung Biologics added 3.12 percent to 793,000 won.

Among losers, LG Chem lost 1.29 percent to 496,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,228 won against the U.S. dollar, up 9 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 2 basis points to 2.267 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 0.7 basis point to 2.516 percent.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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