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South Korea’s stock market cap hits record high

An electric board at the Korea Exchange shows the closing of the Kospi and Kosdaq on Wednesday. (KRX)
An electric board at the Korea Exchange shows the closing of the Kospi and Kosdaq on Wednesday. (KRX)
Buttressed by investors’ optimism about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, as well as improved exports, South Korea’s market capitalization has logged 2,032.38 trillion won ($1,827 billion), data from the nation’s sole bourse operator showed Wednesday.

It was the first time for the market value to cross the 2,030 trillion-won mark, while exceeding 2,000 trillion won in value was previously recorded only three times throughout history. The largest figure observed previously was 2,019.17 trillion won on Jan. 29, 2018.

By market, the nation’s main bourse Kospi came in at 1,703.95 trillion won, up 1.36 percent from the previous session, while the tech-heavy Kosdaq slightly decreased by 0.19 percent to 328.43 trillion won, the Korea Exchange data showed.

Market watchers attributed the historical record to foreign and institutional investors’ massive buying of value stocks in the local market amid the strong Korean won against the US greenback. Their combined net purchasing in the Kospi market marked about 1.24 trillion won. At the same time, they sold a combined 71.3 billion won on the Kosdaq.

Extending its winning streak to an eighth session, the Kospi closed at 2,485.87, up 33.04 points, or 1.35 percent, from the previous session’s close. Kosdaq began slightly higher at 840.89 but ended trading at 839.90, down 0.89 point, or 0.11 percent. The local currency closed at 1,110 won per dollar, hitting a 23-month high, dating to 1,105.3 won per dollar on Dec. 4, 2018.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)  
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