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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 3rd session on vaccine hopes

All News 16:33 August 25, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Aug. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares extended gains to a third session on Friday, as optimism for new coronavirus vaccines fueled hopes of an economic rebound. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 36.9 points, or 1.58 percent, to close at 2,366.73.

Trading volume was moderate at about 760 million shares worth some 13.4 trillion won (US$11.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 783 to 95.

Foreigners purchased a net 152 billion won, extending a buying streak for a third session, while retail investors sold a net 65 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 123 billion won.

Electronic signboards at the trading room of Hana Bank in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,366.73 on Aug. 25, 2020, up 36.9 points or 1.58 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

Investor sentiment improved on optimism for COVID-19 vaccine development and a slowdown in infection cases, analysts said.

"The easing COVID-19 cases in the U.S. increased investors' hope for a (global) economic rebound," Samsung securities analyst Seo Jeong-hoon said.

Florida's infection rate stabilized and New York reported the fewest hospitalized patients since late March.

South Korea added 280 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, staying below 300 for the second consecutive day.

Optimism for economic rebound also resulted after U.S. bio firm Moderna Inc. said it is close to making a deal on supplying about 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the European Union.

In Seoul, most large caps finished higher.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 0.53 percent to 56,400 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.99 percent to 77,000 won.

Leading pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics shed 0.61 percent to 815,000 won, with Celltrion losing 1.13 percent to 306,500 won.

Internet portal giant Naver added 1.56 percent to 325,000 won, with rival Kakao climbing 0.26 percent to 381,000 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 3.49 percent to 166,000 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors shedding 1.63 percent to 43,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,185.1 won per dollar, up 4 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.1 basis point to 0.825 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 0.7 basis point to 1.1 percent.


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