(ATTN: ADDS bond yield at bottom)
SEOUL, Nov. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rose by more than 1 percent on Friday to reach a six-month high as investor sentiment was boosted by potential progress on trade talks between the United States and China, analysts said. The Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.
After a choppy session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 22.95 points, or 1.07 percent, to 2,162.18. Trading volume was moderate at 547 million shares worth 5.6 trillion won (US$4.8 billion), with winners far outnumbering losers 502 to 333.
The index started nearly flat but soon turned bullish as investors were buoyed by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow's comments suggesting progress on trade talks between the world's two largest two economies.
"Kudlow made comments on progress on the trade talks with China, which pulled up the index by nearly 1 percent as investor sentiment was boosted by possible deal close," Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daeshin Securities, said.
Institutional investors scooped up a net 785.9 billion won while foreigners and individuals offloaded a net 137 billion won and 657.7 billion won, respectively.
Most large-cap shares ended in positive terrain, with tech and auto shares leading the gains.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics gained 1.7 percent to close at 53,700 won, and SK hynix, the world's No.-2 memory chip maker, finished 2.16 percent higher at 85,200 won.
South Korea's No. 1 automaker, Hyundai Motor, rose 0.8 percent to 125,500 won, and its sister company Kia Motors advanced 0.23 percent to 43,600 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis jumped 4.67 percent to reach 257,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics increased 0.63 percent to end at 388,000 won while another bio firm, Celltrion, lost 0.27 percent to 186,000 won.
No.1 portal operator Naver shed 3.61 percent to 173,500 won after setting a record a day earlier.
The South Korean won closed at 1,166.3 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.1 won from Thursday's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.2 basis point to 1.513 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 0.6 basis point to 1.604 percent.
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