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(LEAD) Seoul stocks extend winning streak to 7th day on hopes for economic recovery

All News 16:41 August 11, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares extended their winning streak on Tuesday to a seventh day to end at a more than two-year high, aided by tech gains in market heavyweights amid economic rebound hopes. The Korean won stayed unchanged against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 32.29 points, or 1.35 percent, to close at 2,418.67.

The index topped the 2,410-level for the time since June 14, 2018, extending its winning streak to a seventh session.

Trading volume was high at about 835 million shares worth some 19.4 trillion won (US$16.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 536 to 307.

Foreigners bought a net 146 billion won, ending a two-session selling streak, while retail investors sold a net 173 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 40 billion won.

Electronic signboards at the trading room of Hana Bank in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,418.67 on Aug. 11, 2020, up 32.29 points or 1.35 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

The rally was led by gains in techs and chemicals, on the back of economic rebound hopes, analysts said.

"Investor sentiment has run high, largely on better-than-expected earnings in the first half and expectations for a profit rebound for next year," Kang Bong-joo, a researcher at Meritz Securities, said.

Kang attributed the KOSPI's rally to the relatively low incidence of COVID-19 infections in South Korea.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expected Asia's fourth largest economy to shrink 0.8 percent in 2020 from a year earlier, far slower than the previous estimate of a 1.2 percent contraction, citing its successful response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The updated prediction marks the highest growth estimate among 37 OECD member countries.

Market heavyweights traded mixed, with tech giants leading the overall market rally.

Top cap Samsung Electronics gained 0.69 percent to 58,200 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix slipped 0.12 percent to 81,300 won.

Chemical heavyweights also flew high. Leading chemical maker LG Chem spiked 5.28 percent to 758,000 won.

Samsung Biologics, the country's largest pharmaceutical firm, surged 4.28 percent to 804,000 won. The drugmaker announced a plan to build its fourth plant to meet rising orders.

Top steelmaker POSCO shot up 4.28 percent to 207,000 won.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 5.29 percent to 179,000 won, while top internet portal operator Naver shed 0.64 percent to 311,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,185.60 won against the U.S. dollar, remaining flat from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 1.2 basis points to 0.818 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 1.8 basis points to 1.077 percent.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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