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(LEAD) Seoul stocks gain for 2nd day on U.S. Fed's cautious signal

All News 16:38 August 30, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks gained for a second consecutive session Monday as investors remained optimistic about the U.S. Federal Reserve's cautious stance on withdrawing its ultra-easing monetary policy. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) advanced 10.29 points, or 0.33 percent, to close at 3,144.19 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 595 million shares worth some 11.6 trillion won (US$9.9 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 561 to 285.

Foreigners sold a net 237 billion won, while institutions bought 252 billion won. Retail investors offloaded a net 58 billion won.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,144.19 on Aug. 30, 2021, up 10.29 points, or 0.33 percent, from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

The KOSPI performed strong, following Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's Friday address that the Fed could begin tapering its asset purchases this year, but that the move should be made separately from raising interest rates.

The key stock index trimmed part of its earlier gains as investors took to lock in profit from the two-day gains.

"Powell's dovish comments weakened the U.S. dollar and bank stocks, while adding gains to construction and steel," said Eugene Investment & Securities analyst Huh Jae-hwan.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 0.4 percent to 74,600 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix closed unchanged at 103,500 won.

Internet portal operator Naver moved up 1.9 percent to 428,000 won, but giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics closed flat at 947,000 won. Steelmaker POSCO surged 5.4 percent to 332,000 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 0.72 percent to 210,000 won, while leading chemical firm LG Chem shed 1.66 percent to 770,000 won. Top bank stock Kakao Bank retreated 2.27 percent to 81,900 won.

The local currency closed at 1,167 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.2 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 1 basis point to 1.398 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 1.5 basis points to 1.652 percent.


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