Seoul stocks surpass 3,200 to hit all-time high

SEOUL, South Korean stocks surpassed the 3,200-point threshold to finish at an all-time high Monday, with a flurry of big-name firms set to report their fourth-quarter earnings. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 68.36 points, or 2.18 percent, to close at 3,208.99 points. The index hit an intraday high of 3,212.22 points.
Trading volume was high at about 1 billion shares worth some 20.8 trillion won (US$18.9 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 604 to 256.
Foreigners bought a net 237 billion won, while retail investors sold a net 567 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 360 billion won.
Stocks traded bullish during the entire session as investors pin high hopes on fast economic recovery and sound corporate earnings.
“Institutions raked in local shares related to semiconductor and food and beverage, (leading the KOSPI’s gain),” said Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young.
The KOSPI’s top caps, including Samsung Electronics Co., SK hynix Inc. and LG Chem Ltd., are scheduled to report their quarterly earnings for the October-December period.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 3 percent to 89,400 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix spiked 5.06 percent to 135,000 won.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 0.5 percent to 790,000 won, but Celltrion hiked 3.55 percent to 321,000 won.
Internet portal giant Naver added 1.6 percent to 349,000 won, with its rival Kakao advancing 2.27 percent to 473,500 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem rose 1.54 percent to 990,000 won, while rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI declined 0.25 percent to 790,000 won.
Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, moved up 1.17 percent to 260,000 won. Giant cosmetics and household goods maker LG Household & Healthcare surged 7.3 percent to 1,676,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,100.7 won per dollar, up 2.5 won from the previous session’s close.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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