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(LEAD) KOSPI soars past 3,100 on Samsung, Hyundai Motor

All News 16:44 January 08, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, data in 4th para, photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's key stock index logged the largest daily gain in nearly seven months Friday, breaching the 3,100-point mark on stellar advances in market heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 120.5 points, or 3.97 percent, to close at 3,152.18 points, registering the largest daily jump since June 16, 2020.

Trading volume was exceptionally high at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 40.2 trillion won (US$36.9 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 463 to 375.

Foreigners raked in a net 1.6 trillion won, the largest daily buying since July 8, 2011, while retail investors sold a net 560 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 1.1 trillion won.

An electronic signboard at a KB Kookmin Bank trading room in Yeouido, Seoul, shows that the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 120.5 points, or 3.97 percent, to close at 3,152.18 on Jan. 8, 2021. (Yonhap)

Stocks came to a strong start, tracking overnight Wall Street gains over global recovery hopes, backed by speculation that the upcoming U.S. administration will roll out additional stimulus measures.

Samsung Electronics, the world's leading supplier of memory chips, surged 7.12 percent to a fresh record high of 88,800 won, largely on expectations of a global demand hike.

The world's largest smartphone maker estimated solid fourth-quarter earnings on robust chip demand.

"We are expecting a turnaround in the memory chip market in the first quarter, considering the ongoing increase in demand," KTB Securities analyst Kim Yang-jae said.

The country's No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 2.6 percent to 138,000 won.

The KOSPI got a further boost from a sharp rally in auto-related stocks, following reports that Hyundai Motor, the country's leading carmaker, is in talks with Apple Inc. for potential partnership in developing electric cars and batteries.

Hyundai Motor skyrocketed 19.42 percent to close at 246,000 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors spiking 8.41 percent to 68,300 won and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis surging 18.06 percent to 359,500 won.

Most other top caps also joined the rally.

Internet portal Naver hiked 7.77 percent to 312,000 won, and its rival Kakao raced up 7.83 percent to 434,000 won.

Leading chemical company LG Chem gained 3.85 percent to a record high of 999,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI leaped 5.87 percent to 739,000 won.

The local currency was trading at 1,089.8 won against the U.S. dollar, down 2.5 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 1.4 basis points to 0.978 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 0.5 basis point to 1.326 percent.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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