South Korean stocks rose 0.88 percent on Thursday as concerns over emerging markets and corporate earnings receded, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index advanced 16.57 points to 1,907.89. Trading volume was moderate at 255 million shares worth 3.94 trillion won ($3.65 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 520 to 281.
“Investor sentiment was boosted by a stabilizing currency market and better-than-expected corporate earnings,” said Lee Hyun-joo, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities.
“But it is too early to say that the market would maintain its upward move given the still lingering concerns over emerging markets.”
Tech and financial firms led the overall market gain, while automakers remained in the negative terrain.
Top market cap Samsung Electronics climbed 1.78 percent to close at 1,259,000 won, and SK hynix jumped 5.32 percent to end at 38,600 won.
Naver, the country’s top Internet portal operator, surged 7.26 percent to end at 739,000 won on expectations that its free messenger service, the LINE, would boost its revenue down the road.
Before the market opened, the company released its fourth-quarter earnings, with revenue soaring 27.7 percent on-year to 641 billion won in the fourth quarter. Its messenger service LINE led the revenue gain, advancing 232.2 percent on-year in the fourth quarter to 136.9 billion won, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the combined amount, it said.
Woori Finance Holdings gained 2.13 percent to end at 12,000 won, and KB Financial Group also rose 1.52 percent to end at 36,850 won.
But automakers finished lower with industry leader Hyundai Motor down 0.88 percent to close at 226,500 won. Its smaller affiliate Kia Motors declined 0.37 percent to close at 53,700 won, and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis also lost 0.49 percent to end at 306,000 won.
Foreign investors remained net-sellers by offloading 117 billion won, bringing their net-selling to some 3 trillion won so far this year. Institutional investors scooped up 194 billion won worth of shares, while retail investors sold a net 69 billion won.
The local currency ended at 1,079.00 won to the greenback, down 1.1 won from Wednesday’s close on a continued stock sell-off by foreign investors.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, remained flat. The yield on three-year Treasurys stayed at 2.85 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds also remained unchanged at 3.18 percent. (Yonhap)