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(LEAD) S. Korean stocks jump more than 3 pct on hopes of virus outbreak peaking

All News 16:39 April 17, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photo and bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, April 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks climbed more than 3 percent Friday as foreign investors scooped up major large-cap shares amid hopes that the global coronavirus outbreak is peaking, analysts said. The Korean won gained ground against the greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shot up 57.46 points, or 3.09 percent, to close at 1,914.53. Trading volume was heavy at 1.6 billion shares worth 13.9 trillion won (US$11.4 billion), with gainers far outpacing losers 719 to 144.

The country reported 22 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the nation's total infections to 10,635, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(LEAD) S. Korean stocks jump more than 3 pct on hopes of virus outbreak peaking - 1

Foreigners scooped up a net 318 billion won, ending a selling spree of 30 consecutive sessions. Institutional buyers also scooped up a net 236.1 billion won, while individuals offloaded 609.9 billion won.

"Foreigners went on a major buying spree, contributing to the KOSPI rise. It looks like investor sentiment improved on hopes that the recent COVID-19 outbreak will be contained," Lee Kyung-min, a researcher at Daishin Securities Co., said.

Most large-cap shares closed higher.

Tech shares were bullish, with top market cap Samsung Electronics gaining 4.9 percent to 51,400 won and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix adding 3.44 percent to 84,100 won. Battery maker Samsung SDI jumped 5.72 percent to 286,500 won.

Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor was up 1.41 percent to 100,500 won, and its sister company Kia Motors added 3.1 percent to 29,900 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis increased 2.87 percent to 179,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,217.9 won against the U.S. dollar, up 10.8 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 2.4 basis points to 1.006 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 3.5 basis points to 1.219 percent.


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