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Seoul stocks soar to new record high on economic recovery hopes

Electronic signboards at the trading room of Hana Bank in Seoul show the benchmark Kospi closed at 2,634.25 on Tuesday, up 42.91 points or 1.66 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
Electronic signboards at the trading room of Hana Bank in Seoul show the benchmark Kospi closed at 2,634.25 on Tuesday, up 42.91 points or 1.66 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks rebounded from a sharp decline the previous session to hit a new all-time high Tuesday on the back of upbeat economic data, lifting hopes for a faster-than-expected recovery amid the pandemic. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 42.91 points, or 1.66 percent, to close at 2,634.25.

Trading volume was high at about 1.1 billion shares worth some 15.7 trillion won ($14.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 541 to 294.

Institutions purchased a net 267.6 billion won, and foreigners picked up a net 73.4 billion won. Retail investors offloaded a net 345.2 billion won.

The benchmark index got off to a strong start as investor sentiment was buoyed by promising economic data.

South Korea's economy grew 2.1 percent in the July-September period from the previous quarter, faster than its earlier estimate of 1.9 percent.

The country's exports also rose 4 percent in November from a year earlier on continued global chip demand.

"Strong exports will lead to increased expectations of better performance for export-oriented companies," Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.

Hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine becoming available soon also added to the market sentiment.

US-based Moderna said Monday (US time) it will seek emergency approval for its COVID-19 vaccine from US and European health regulators.

Most large caps in Seoul ended higher.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.65 percent to 67,800 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix jumped 3.08 percent to 100,500 won.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem added 1.12 percent to 809,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI spiked 2.63 percent to 547,000 won.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics climbed 0.89 percent to 793,000 won, and Celltrion rose 1.18 percent to 344,000 won.

Internet portal giant Naver added 2.88 percent to 285,500 won, with its rival Kakao hiking 1.77 percent to 374,500 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, climbed 1.1 percent to 183,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,106.2 won per dollar, up 0.3 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.1 basis point to 0.982 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 0.2 basis point to 1.335 percent. (Yonhap)
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