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(LEAD) Seoul stocks end higher on hopes for Chinese market reopening

All News 17:27 November 04, 2022

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, first 4 paras; ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed higher Friday following volatile trading throughout the session, as foreigners and institutions expanded holdings on expectations that China would ease coronavirus restrictions. The Korean won advanced against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) advanced 19.26 points, or 0.83 percent, to 2,348.43. The index closed this week by rising a combined 3.5 percent from the previous week.

Opening higher on Friday, the index went through ups and downs, apparently weighed down by worries over the Fed's future monetary policy.

The KOSPI extended gains as the market drew to a close, bolstered by reports that the Chinese government could ease its "zero-COVID" policy. The hopes for China's market reopening drove up the Chinese yuan, which also caused the South Korean currency to turn higher against the dollar.

Trading volume was moderate at 430.5 billion shares worth 7.8 trillion won (US$5.5 billion) with gainers outnumbering decliners 482 to 377.

Foreign and institutional investors were net buyers and scooped up a combined 143.2 billion won. Retail investors sold off a net 145.5 won.

"The KOSPI seesawed around the 2,320 point mark as investors tried to digest the Fed's rate setting meeting this week. However, stocks inched up in the afternoon as the local currency gathered ground against the U.S. dollar," analyst Lee Kyoung-min from Daishin Securities said.

"A market shock will be inevitable if the October consumer price index to be released next week is lower than market projections," he added.

Friday's ascent came despite market worries over the future path of the U.S.' monetary tightening after Fed Chair Jerome Powell earlier said rates could be raised to a higher level than initially thought. The U.S. central bank recently delivered another 75 basis point increase.

In Seoul, market heavyweights ended mixed.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics inched up 0.34 percent to 59,400 won, and smaller rival SK hynix jumped 2.18 percent to 84,500 won.

Battery maker Samsung SDI slid 0.81 percent to 733,000 won, while bio firm Celltrion descended 0.54 percent to 184,000 won.

National flag carrier Korean Air Lines jumped 5.04 percent to 23,950 won after its robust third-quarter earning results announced a day earlier.

IT shares also gathered ground. No. 1 portal operator Naver climbed 2.96 percent to 174,000 won and messenger app operator Kakao gained 0.4 percent to 50,300 won.

The local currency closed at 1,419.2 won against the greenback, up 4.6 won from the previous day's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys declined 4 basis points to 4.118 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds slid 4 basis points to 4.200 percent.

Screens at a dealing room in Hana Bank show the closing KOSPI index, the secondary KOSDAQ index and won-dollar exchange rate on Nov. 3, 2022. (Yonhap)

Screens at a dealing room in Hana Bank show the closing KOSPI index, the secondary KOSDAQ index and won-dollar exchange rate on Nov. 3, 2022. (Yonhap)


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