(Yonhap)

SEOUL — South Korean stocks closed higher for the second straight day Tuesday amid hopes for an economic rebound, offsetting concerns over the fallout from the novel coronavirus outbreak. The Korean won gained ground against the US dollar.

After a choppy session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 11.32 points, or 0.59 percent, to close at 1,934.09. Trade volume was heavy at 1.16 billion shares worth 10.3 trillion won ($8.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 487 to 343.

The local stock market opened higher, taking a cue from overnight gains on Wall Street. Investor sentiment was also boosted by efforts to help the local economy get back on track.

The index shifted into negative terrain briefly but closed higher as individuals scooped up large-cap shares on hopes that the government is inching toward boosting economic activities.

President Moon Jae-in has called for swift and decisive policy action to revitalize the economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as Asia’s fourth-largest economy is planning on a multitrillion-won extra budget to boost domestic demand.

“Hopes for economic recovery and the COVID-19 outbreak slowdown pushed up the local market,” said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daeshin Securities.

Individuals and institutions scooped up a net 83.4 billion won and 23.6 billion won, respectively. Meanwhile, foreign investors offloaded a net 125.7 billion won.

Most large-cap shares on the Seoul bourse were mixed.

Tech shares were bullish. Samsung Electronics, the top market cap here, gained 0.5 percent to 50,100 won. SK hynix, a major chipmaker, added 0.97 percent to end at 83,400 won.

Leading automaker Hyundai Motor moved up 1.75 percent to 93,200 won, and Hyundai Motor’s sister company Kia Motors gained 2.27 percent to 29,250 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis was unchanged at 167,500 won.

In contrast, major pharmaceutical firm Celltrion fell 1.65 percent to 209,000 and Samsung BioLogics, a bio affiliate of Samsung Group, was unchanged at 588,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,225.2 won against the US dollar, up 1 won from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)


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