South Korean stocks closed higher Tuesday, helped by China’s move to supply more liquidity into the market ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays, analysts said. The Korean won closed lower against the greenback.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 10.11 points, or 0.52 percent, to 1,963.89. Trading volume was low at 285.5 million shares worth 3.29 trillion won ($3.08 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 409 to 378.
Analysts said Seoul shares moved up modestly after People’s Bank of China announced it will issue $42 billion worth of reverse repos to deal with a possible liquidity crunch in the world’s second-largest economy.
“China’s move played a role in bolstering the market along with bargain hunting by institutional investors,” Lim Dong-rak, a researcher at Hanyang Securities Co., said. He also said that downward rigidity in the bourse helped move up the bourse for a second day in a row.
Foreigners offloaded a net 24.1 billion won, with individual investors also shedding 55.1 billion won worth of shares.
Institutions, on the other hand, bought 69.3 billion won more shares than they sold.
Tech shares led the gains. Market behemoth Samsung Electronics moved up 0.61 percent to 1,324,000 won, with smaller rival LG Electronics adding 1.02 percent to 69,600 won. Top chipmaker SK Hynix, however, gave up 1.22 percent to 36,400 won.
Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor gained 2.16 percent to 236,000 won, and its smaller sister company Kia Motors rose 1.58 percent to 51,400 won. Another affiliate, Hyundai Mobis, the country’s leading auto parts maker, saw its shares rise 1.92 percent to 292,500 won.
Shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries gained 1.72 percent to 236,500 won with steelmaker POSCO losing 0.48 percent to 309,500.
Financial firms such as Shinhan Financial and KB Financial rebounded from Monday’s loss by moving up 2.09 percent and 0.51 percent, respectively.
The local currency ended at 1,065.30 won to the U.S. dollar, down 1.60 won from the day before. (Yonhap News)