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(LEAD) Seoul stocks rebound on easing virus woes, stabilizing currency market

All News 16:36 October 19, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks rebounded Tuesday on easing concerns about the new coronavirus and the volatility in the currency market. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 22.36 points, or 0.74 percent, to close at 3,029.04 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 833 million shares worth some 10 trillion won (US$8.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 449 to 381.

Foreigners bought a net 146 billion won, while retail investors sold 327 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 182 billion won.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,029.04 on Oct. 19, 2021, up 22.36 points or 0.74 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

Stocks got off to a strong start on overnight gains on Wall Street and easing virus woes.

"The local stock market seems to have shrugged off some of the negative factors at home and overseas, such as inflation and tapering jitters," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Park Gwang-nam said.

"The FX market has also seemed to be stabilizing, and investors' appetite for risky assets has increased in general, leading to today's stock rebound," he added.

The local currency closed at 1,178.7 won against the U.S. dollar, up 8.9 won from the previous session's close.

South Korea's new virus cases stayed below 2,000 for the 11th straight day Tuesday amid progress in vaccinations.

The government has been considering lowering the level of distancing rules, currently at its highest, should virus cases stay low.

Most large caps traded higher in Seoul.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics increased 0.57 percent to 70,600 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 0.62 percent to 97,700 won.

Leading car battery firm LG Chem Ltd. climbed 0.48 percent to 831,000 won, and internet portal operator Naver rose 2.77 percent to 407,500 won. Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics gained 1.17 percent to 868,000 won.

Among losers, top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. slid 0.24 percent to 209,000 won, and SK Innovation shed 0.97 percent to 256,500 won.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.9 basis point to 1.866 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 3.6 basis points to 2.134 percent.


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