The Korea Herald


Seoul stocks gain for 3rd day amid tapering uncertainties

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 25, 2021 - 16:28

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The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap) The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks advanced for a third consecutive day Wednesday amid increased investor caution over US tapering uncertainties. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) rose 8.51 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 3,146.81 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 558 million shares worth some 12.7 trillion won ($10.9 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 571 to 281.

Foreigners bought a net 30 billion won, and institutions purchased a net 22 billion won, while retail investors sold 26 billion won.

The Kospi got off to a solid start after rallying for the past two sessions.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite advanced 0.52 percent as investors are optimistic that the Federal Reserve may not hurry the timeline for rolling back its accommodative policies amid the spread of new coronavirus variants.

Local trading turned choppy as investors increasingly took to the sidelines ahead of the Fed chief's Jackson Hole gathering in Wyoming on Friday (US time).

The stock index finished higher, with the market consensus chipping in for the Bank of Korea's rate freeze on Thursday over the spiking virus cases.

South Korea added 2,155 COVID-19 cases Wednesday, sharply up from 1,509 cases Tuesday.

"Investors seem to have taken their wait-and-see mode, with the daily COVID-19 cases exceeding 2,000 again, and some investors turned to profit-taking after the recent gains," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Park Gwang-nam said.

Tech, bio and bank large caps performed weak, while steel and chemical stocks advanced.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics edged up 0.13 percent to 75,700 won, but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 1.43 percent to 103,500 won.

Internet portal operator Naver decreased 1.6 percent to 430,500 won, while giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics added 0.73 percent to 963,000 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor closed unchanged at 209,500 won, and leading chemical firm LG Chem increased 1.52 percent to 799,000 won. Top bank stock Kakao Bank slumped 3.86 percent to 82,100 won.

The local currency closed at 1,168.1 won against the US dollar, down 2.5 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)