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(LEAD) Seoul stocks end higher on hopes over economy reopening

All News 16:34 May 06, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, May 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks advanced by more than 1 percent Wednesday as investors bet on the reopening of businesses around the globe after coronavirus lockdowns. The Korean won sharply rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 33.39 points, or 1.76 percent, to close at 1,928.76.

Trading volume was high at 1 billion shares worth 8.4 trillion won (US$6.7 billion), with gainers far outpacing losers 695 to 146.

The index stayed above the flatline throughout the session on the back of optimism over the gradual reopening of the global economy after countries started to ease coronavirus lockdowns, coupled with a rebound in oil prices.

This photo taken on May 6, 2020, shows a screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a dealing room at KB Kookimin Bank in Seoul. (Yonhap)

"With countries continuing their efforts to develop COVID-19 vaccines and drugs, the market responded positively as the reopening of the economy in each country could pick up pace and ease concerns of recession," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Individual investors bought a net 1 billion won worth of stocks, while institutions scooped up a net 307 billion won. Foreigners offloaded a net 314 billion won on the Seoul bourse.

Most large-cap stocks ended in positive terrain.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 1.44 percent to 49,200 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rose 1.73 percent to 82,400 won.

South Korea's largest automaker, Hyundai Motor, jumped 1.86 percent to 93,200 won, while auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis advanced 2.06 percent to 173,000 won.

The country's top web portal operator Naver spiked 6.53 percent to 212,000 won, but leading mobile carrier SK Telecom slid 0.96 percent to 206,500 won.

The South Korean won closed at 1,222.10 won against the U.S. dollar, up 7 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.5 basis points to 0.960 percent, but the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 0.9 basis point to 1.224 percent.


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