Seoul shares rebound sharply on falling buys, ahead of Biden visit

On Friday, an electronic chart showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) in a trading room at Hana Bank’s headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks rose on Friday as investors recovered from oversold stocks and raised hopes for an expanded trade relationship between South Korea and the United States. The Korean won appreciated strongly against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 46.95 points, or 1.81%, to close at 2,639.29 points. After a volatile week due to high inflation, the key stock index gained 1.35% from a week ago.

Friday’s trading volume was moderate at around 743 million shares worth about 9.5 trillion won ($7.5 billion), with winners outnumbering losers 654 to 189.

Institutions bought a net amount of 837 billion won and foreigners bought 194 billion won, while retail investors unloaded 1 trillion won.

The rebound in the KOSPI came after global equities fell on Thursday.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite fell, largely due to continued pressure on inflation hikes.

After a bullish start, the KOSPI gained more and more ground on Friday thanks to the advances of the technology, automotive and chemical heavyweights.

Foreign institutions and investors bought stocks as U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to South Korea raised good expectations that key sectors, such as autos and batteries, would get a boost from the summit. The United States is one of South Korea’s two largest trading partners, along with China.

“Despite lingering concerns about stagflation (due to high inflationary pressure and weak growth), investors pinned high hopes on the Korea-US summit meeting with (Hyundai Motor Group Chairman) Chung Eui- sun,” said the research team of Shinhan Investment.

Most large caps closed higher in Seoul.

KOSPI’s first-cap Samsung Electronics rose 0.74% to 68,000 won, and battery giant LG Energy Solution jumped 4.45% to 434,000 won.

No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 1.35% to 112,500 won, and the country’s biggest automaker, Hyundai Motor, added 2.47% to 186,500 won. Chemical heavyweight LG Chem climbed 8.57% to 545,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,268.1 won against the US dollar, up 9.6 won from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)

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