SEOUL, May 4 (Yonhap) -- Retail investors' stock purchases hit a fresh record high Monday, as they bet on the local stock market rebounding down the road on the back of eased concerns over the new coronavirus and improving economic conditions, according to data from the Korea Exchange.
Individual investors bought a net 1.7 trillion won (US$1.4 billion) worth of local stocks on the main bourse, the highest daily tally since the bourse operator began compiling related data in 1999.
The previous record was 1.55 trillion won on Aug. 10, 2011.
In contrast to the individuals' massive buying, foreigners net sold 1 trillion won worth of local stocks Monday, and institutional investors dumped a net 800 billion won.
Amid a marked slowdown in new infections, South Korea reported eight more cases of the new coronavirus Monday, all of which came from overseas.
Individuals' buying mode intensified since March, when the local stock market was roiled by rout stemming from the outbreak of COVID-19.
In March, retail investors scooped up a net 11.18 trillion won on the local stock market following a net purchase of 4.89 trillion won worth of stocks and 4.48 trillion won in February and January, respectively.
So far this year, retail investors' net buying of stocks topped 26 trillion won.
"Despite the risk-aversive sentiment in today's session, individuals are rushing for (coronavirus-hit) stocks," Noh Dong-gil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co., said.
Noh said investors should remain cautious as coronavirus uncertainties linger in the market.
BOK's rate cut in the offing, but 'when' still being debated
BOK again faces rate cut pressure on new coronavirus risk
BOK to keep policy rate steady amid signs of recovery
Wealth management service increasingly popular in S. Korea
BOK tipped to continue monetary easing, at least another rate cut in offing