South Korean shares extended their winning streak to a fourth consecutive session on Wednesday, hitting a more than three-month high amid economic recovery hopes. The Korean won sharply rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 59.81 points, or 2.87 percent, to close at 2,147.00, the highest since Feb. 25. Trading volume was high at about 1.1 billion shares worth a record high of 16.8 trillion won ($13.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 517 to 344.
Institutions raked in a net 1.16 trillion won, the largest daily tally since 1.64 trillion won on Jan. 18, 2016. Foreigners purchased a net 204.1 billion won. Individuals offloaded a net 1.33 trillion won, the largest since 1.45 trillion won on Sept. 14, 2012.
Seoul stocks rallied amid rising economic rebound hopes, further underpinned by the country's a 35.3 trillion won extra budget proposal to revive the economy against the new coronavirus' economic fallout.
The bill marks the country's third and largest-ever extra budget plan.
"The third extra budget is expected to push up (South Korea's) growth rate by 0.5-0.6 percentage point," KB Securities analyst Oh Jae-young said
The stock market got off to a strong start on optimism for a global economic rebound, backed by rollbacks of lockdowns, despite the spreading anti-racism protests in the United States over the death of an African American man.
"Investor sentiment turned out to be more sensitive to the US economic reopening and the central banks' supply of ample liquidity, rather than uncertainties from the protests," Samsung Securities researcher Seo Jung-hun said.
The latest developments in the Sino-American frictions showed room for easing.
Reports suggested that the US is continuing to ship soybeans to China, dismissing earlier news that Beijing may be pressuring retaliation by pushing its state-run importers to stop purchasing American products. China's purchase of US soybeans is a key component in the Sino-American trade deal signed in January.
The US and China are South Korea's two main trading partners.
Elevated hopes for an economic rebound led to a rally among large caps, particularly chipmakers, financials and steelmakers.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics soared 6.03 percent to 54,500 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix rallied 6.48 percent to 88,700 won.
Leading pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics slid 0.48 percent to 626,000 won, but Celltrion advanced 1.34 percent to 227,500 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 5.85 percent to 108,500 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors adding 0.82 percent to 36,800 won.
The local currency closed at 1,216.80 won per dollar, up 8.60 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 1.5 basis points to 0.866 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 2.3 basis points to 1.150 percent. (Yonhap)