The South Korean stock market was upbeat Tuesday on hopes of the successful development of a coronavirus vaccine in the US. The local currency rose against the US dollar.
Local shares opened sharply higher in early morning trading with the nation’s main bourse Kospi soaring 2.26 percent to 1980.84 points. Continuing the momentum throughout the day, the index closed at 1,980.61, up 2.25 percent.
The local rally came on the heels of news reports about the positive results of US pharmaceutical firm Moderna’s first trial of a coronavirus vaccine. The US company announced that the ongoing early stage clinical testing of the candidate vaccine showed positive interim results with the participants developing a considerable level of antibodies to the virus. Wall Street’s three major indexes -- Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq Composite, and S&P 500 -- all closed higher following the news.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s pledge, in a media interview, to do more to shore up the coronavirus-hit economy also helped Wall Street make huge gains overnight.
The nation’s bellwether Samsung Electronics hit a high of 50,500 won ($41), up 3.48 percent, in the early morning session while some of the most hammered industries during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, such as automotive, retail, energy and hotel, rallied.
Retail giant Shinsegae saw its shares reach a high of 259,000 won, up 6.8 percent, in intraday trading while carmaker Hyundai Motor’s stock surged 6.75 percent to 98,100 won in the morning.
The nation’s secondary Kosdaq opened higher in the opening session, but soon fell by 3.18 points to 687.70. In the afternoon session, the tech-savvy Kosdaq rebounded to close at 696.36 points, up by 5.51 points.
The local currency sharply rose by 9.50 won to trade at 1,221 won against the greenback in the morning session. It closed at 1,225.50 won per dollar, up 9 won from the previous session’s close.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)