(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)
SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks pierced the 2,700-point mark to hit a fresh all-time high Friday, backed by strong advances by tech and bio heavyweights and massive foreign buying. The Korean won rose to a fresh 30-month high against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 35.23 points, or 1.31 percent, to close at 2,731.45.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.7 billion shares worth some 19.6 trillion won (US$18.1 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 314 to 546.
Foreigners bought a net 766 billion won, while retail investors sold a net 347 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 410 billion won.
Strong foreign buying bolstered the KOSPI's four-session winning streak, analysts said.
"Foreign buying seems to have intensified based on the market belief that the U.S. dollar will remain weak (against the Korean won), on top of vaccine hopes that boosted investors' appetite for risk," Samsung Securities analyst Seo Jeong-hoon said.
Tech, financial and steel-related stocks performed well, largely on investors' expectations that early COVID-19 vaccine development may quicken the export-intensive economy. Strong foreign buying bolstered the KOSPI's gain.
The local currency's appreciation also contributed to foreigners' buying mode.
The local currency closed at 1,082.1 won against the U.S. dollar, up 14.9 won from the previous session's close and the highest since June 12, 2018, when the comparable figure was 1,077.2 won.
In addition, giant drugmakers spiked on surging new COVID-19 cases, with daily new cases in South Korea spiking to a 9-month high and hospitalizations in the U.S. from the illness hitting an all-time high overnight.
In Seoul, most large caps closed higher.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 2.58 percent to 71,500 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 3.14 percent to 115,000 won. Both firms finished at all-time highs.
Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, closed unchanged at 196,500 won, while top steelmaker POSCO spiked 5.57 percent to 265,500 won.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 2.48 percent to 825,000 won, and Celltrion spiked 8.26 percent to 380,000 won on growing global demand for test kits.
Internet portal giant Naver moved up 2.44 percent to 294,000 won, with its rival Kakao jumping 4.14 percent to 389,500 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem closed unchanged at 825,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI slid 0.18 percent to 551,000 won.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.9 basis point to 0.966 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 1.4 basis points to 1.323 percent.
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