(ATTN: ADDS photo, bond yields at bottom)
SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks spiked by more than 2 percent Thursday, helped by stimulus measures and a rise in oil prices. The local currency slightly rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) increased 39.40 points, or 2.34 percent, to close at 1,724.86. Trading volume was moderate at 752 million shares worth some 9.5 trillion won (US$7.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 708 to 154.
The sharp increase came one day after the index plunged over 4 percent, dipping below the 1,700-point line again in four sessions.
The index again opened lower Thursday, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street where the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashed over 4 percent.
"The rate of global stock market recovery is showing signs of slowing, partly because of the accelerating spread of COVID-19 and lack of additional monetary and fiscal policies," NH Investment & Securities analyst Noh Dong-kil said.
"A prolonged economic slump in the U.S. is the single most important factor that could undermine South Korea's stock market recovery," Noh added.
As of Wednesday (New York time), the number of COVID-19 infection cases in the U.S. has reached over 215,000, with 5,110 deaths.
South Korea's total stood shy of 10,000 on Thursday, more than two months after its first confirmed case reported Jan. 20.
Foreign investors extended their selling streak to 21 sessions, offloading a net 576 billion won, while institutions purchased a net 315.5 billion won. Individuals bought a net 272 billion won.
Most large caps closed in positive terrain.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics surged 2.18 percent to 46,800 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 2.04 percent to 80,000 won.
Top pharmaceutical company Samsung BioLogics climbed 2.65 percent to 464,500 won, with top automaker Hyundai Motor gaining 1.41 percent to 86,600 won.
The local currency closed at 1,228.30 won per dollar, up 2.20 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 3.3 basis points to 1.059 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 2.3 basis points to 1.303 percent.
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