Seoul shares ended higher for the second straight session Monday, as investors speculate the pace of the Federal Reserve's rate hikes could be slower than expected amid global recession woes. The local currency sharply rose against the US dollar.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 35.32 points, or 1.49 percent, to close at 2,401.92. On Friday, the KOSPI rebounded 2.3 percent to 2,366.60 after marking a 19-month low a session earlier.
Trading volume was moderate at 501.09 million shares worth 7.52 trillion won ($5.8 billion), with gainers far outpacing decliners 843 to 69.
On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 2.7 percent to 31,500.68 points, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 3.3 percent to 11,607.62.
The Fed recently raised its policy rate by 0.75 percentage point to tame inflation, which is running at a 40-year high.
Foreigners purchased a net 267 billion won worth of stocks, largely offsetting institutions and individuals' stock selling valued at a combined 299 billion won.
Foreign appetite for risky assets partly came back, as speculation that inflation may have peaked eased rate hike fears, analysts said.
"A rebound in the US market last week was an upside factor for the market. And machinery and automotive stocks advanced on the government's plans to revive the nuclear power generation market and robust EV sales in the United States, giving a boost to the index," Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp., said by phone.
In Seoul, most large-cap stocks advanced.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.7 percent to 58,800 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbed 3.7 percent to 95,000 won.
Top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. jumped 5.8 percent to 183,000 won, and leading plant company Doosan Enerbility Co. gained 7.4 percent to 18,200 won.
Among losers, Hanjin KAL Corp., the parent firm of Korean Air Lines Co., fell 0.8 percent to 61,400 won, and leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. declined 0.6 percent to 54,100 won.
The local currency ended at 1,286.50 won against the US dollar, up 11.70 won from the previous session's close.
It marked the highest daily increase since May 30, when the won rose 17.60 won per the dollar. (Yonhap)