SEOUL, July 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks snapped their four-day losing streak Thursday, as hopes for robust second-quarter earnings boosted investor sentiment despite the surge in new virus cases. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 34.3 points, or 1.07 percent, to close at 3,250.21 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 701 million shares worth some 12.8 trillion won (US$11.1 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 537 to 289.
Foreigners bought a net 51 billion won, while retail investors sold 882 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 817 billion won.
The gains came as the country is struggling with the fourth wave of the pandemic, with the number of daily new coronavirus cases hitting a fresh record of 1,842 on Thursday.
"The surge in COVID-19 cases increased the psychological anxiety of investors, but solid economic fundamentals seem to have limited such influence," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.
Tech, financial and steel gains led the KOSPI's hike, while bios slumped.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics advanced 1.53 percent to 79,700 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 2.14 percent to 119,500 won.
Internet portal operator Naver increased 2.8 percent to 440,000 won, after the firm's quarterly net surged nearly six times on-year.
The country's largest steelmaker, POSCO, jumped 4.69 percent to 346,000 won, with its quarterly net soaring 18 times on-year.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics retreated 1.89 percent to 884,000 won, but top automaker Hyundai Motor edged up 0.22 percent to 228,500 won. Leading chemical firm LG Chem climbed 1.98 percent to 826,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,149.9 won to the U.S. dollar, up 4.1 won from the previous session's close.