SEOUL, July 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks extended gains late Wednesday morning, buoyed by growing hopes of a recovery.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 21.58 points, or 1.02 percent, to 2,129.91 as of 11:20 a.m.
The rise comes amid hopes for a speedy economic recovery from the fallout of the new coronavirus pandemic.
South Korea's exports dropped for a fourth consecutive month in June, but the rate of decline slowed to 10.9 percent from a 23.7 percent on-year plunge the month before and 24.3 percent decrease in April, according to earlier reports.
Most large caps traded higher, with metal, telecom and financial shares leading the gains.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 0.57 percent, with No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix adding 1.53 percent.
Leading steelmaker POSCO spiked 4.60 percent, with Korea Zinc surging 4.48 percent.
Telecommunications giant SK Telecom shot up 5.45 percent, with its rival KT gaining 1.27 percent.
Top financial groups KB Financial and Shinhan Financial jumped 2.06 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
Pharmaceutical heavyweight Samsung BioLogics stayed flat, while leading chemical maker LG Chem added 1.83 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,199.75 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.25 won from the previous session's close.