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(LEAD) Seoul stocks up for 2nd day on retail buying

All News 16:35 September 02, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks extended their winning streak to a second consecutive session Wednesday as retail investors scooped up stocks amid a letup in spiking virus cases. The Korean currency fell against the U.S. dollar.

After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 14.82 points, or 0.63 percent, to finish at 2,364.37. Trading volume was heavy at 1.4 billion shares worth 15.5 trillion won (US$13.1 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 590 to 245.

"South Korean stocks traded near the 2,370 level on the back of robust U.S. data on manufacturing activity and Wall Street gains. But foreigners' net sales sent the KOSPI into negative terrain at one point," Lee Kyung-min, a market analyst at Daishin Securities Co., said.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,364.37 on Sept. 2, 2020, up 14.82 points, or 0.63 percent, from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

Seoul shares got off to a strong start following overnight gains in U.S. markets, prompted by tech rallies and improving economic data.

In the morning session, the stock index pared earlier gains, but retail investors' sustained buying supported the market in the afternoon trade.

Individual investors snapped up a net 332.4 billion won. But foreigners unloaded a net 264 billion won and institutions sold more shares than they bought at 91.1 billion won.

South Korea's daily coronavirus cases stayed below 300 for the fourth straight day Wednesday after the country recently imposed stricter social distancing across the nation.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics gained 0.37 percent to 54,400 won despite the news that prosecutors indicted Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong on Tuesday for his role in a controversial merger and alleged accounting fraud.

No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 0.4 percent to 75,500 won, while consumer electronics giant LG Electronics lost 1.37 percent to 86,500 won.

Kakao, the operator of messenger app Kakao Talk, rose 2.62 percent to 412,000 won as its game affiliate Kakao Games has drawn explosive interest in public subscription for its initial public offering (IPO).

But top automaker Hyundai Motor fell 2.22 percent to 176,000 won, and its affiliate Kia Motors shed 2.2 percent to 42,200 won.

The local currency closed at 1,185.40 won against the U.S. dollar, down 2.4 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 5.4 basis points to 0.923 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 4.5 basis points to 1.228 percent.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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