South Korean stocks finished 0.32 percent higher Tuesday as investor sentiment was boosted by better-than-expected economic data both at home and abroad, analysts said. The South Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 6.37 points to 1,991.98. Trading volume was slim at 207.4 million shares worth 3.7 trillion won ($3.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 461 to 308.
“Investors are positive about economic recovery on the back of an uptick in China’s manufacturing index and South Korea’s exports,” said Lim Dong-rak, a market analyst at Hanyang Securities Co.
“And there’s no big issue that can adversely affect the market in the short term.”
However, Lim noted that the gains were offset by uncertainties in the Chinese economy about whether the Beijing government would take steps to stimulate the world’s second-largest economy, while U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. economy still needs support.
“Despite optimistic data, there are concerns about an economic ‘hard landing’ in China. Investors want the government’s action,” he said.
Shares closed higher across the board. LG Electronics, South Korea’s No. 2 handset maker, climbed 0.46 percent to 65,200 won, and semiconductor producer SK Hynix rose 2.78 percent to 37,000 won. Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest handset maker, however, fell 0.3 percent to 1,339,000 won.
Steelmakers were bullish, with industry leader POSCO rising 1.52 percent to 300,500 won and Korea Zinc going up 1.36 percent to close at 335,000 won.
Carmakers also finished higher as Hyundai Motor added 0.2 percent to 251,500 won and Kia Motors advanced 0.67 percent to 59,700 won.
The local currency ended at 1,058.5 won to the greenback, up 6.2 won from Monday’s close. (Yonhap)