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(LEAD) KOSPI soars to all-time high on recovery hopes

16:35 April 20, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, April 20 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean benchmark stock index refreshed its all-time high Tuesday, extending its winning streak to a seventh session amid speculations of a global economic rebound and strong corporate earnings in the first quarter. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 21.86 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 3,220.7 points, the highest finish since the closing of 3,208.99 points on Jan. 25.

Trading volume was moderate at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 14.3 trillion won (US$12.9 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 671 to 191.

Foreigners bought a net 328 billion won, while retail investors sold 390 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 46 billion won.

Electronic signboard at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul shows the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at its all-time high at 3,220.75 points on April 20, 2021, up 21.86 points or 0.68 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

Stocks traded bullish despite increased valuation pressure, as brokerages projected strong quarterly performances by local big-name companies.

"Foreign and institutional buying drove up the KOSPI," KB Securities analyst Ha In-hwan said.

"Continued vaccine rollouts and optimism for the economic recovery seem to have lifted the stock prices," he said.

Construction, financial and chemical sectors performed strong, while bio slowed on the progress in the local vaccine rollout and the fall in daily new coronavirus cases.

Most large caps closed higher, with market kingpin Samsung Electronics advancing 0.72 percent to 83,900 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 0.36 percent to 138,500 won.

Internet portal giant Naver edged up 0.26 percent to 391,000 won, and its rival Kakao increased 0.42 percent to 119,500 won.

Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor declined 0.43 percent to 229,000 won, and chemical maker LG Chem rose 1.36 percent to 893,000 won.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 0.84 percent to 837,000 won, but Celltrion dipped 3.07 percent to 300,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,112.3 won to the U.S. dollar, up 4.9 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 0.5 basis point to 1.134 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 2 basis points to 1.568 percent.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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