South Korean shares closed sharply higher Thursday on hopes of an economic recovery fueled by improved US economic indicators. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 28.67 points, or 1.36 percent, to close at 2,135.37. Trading volume was high at about 1.1 billion shares worth some 10.4 trillion won ($8.7 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 671 to 176.
Foreigners sold a net 13 billion won, extending their latest selling streak to a fourth session. Individuals offloaded a net 210 billion won, while institutions bought a net 214 billion won.
The sharp increase in the KOSPI was largely attributed to improvements in US economic indicators that helped ease investor concerns over the global resurgence of COVID-19 infections.
The US manufacturing data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) jumped to a 14-month high, only two months after crashing to an 11-year low.
US Payroll processor Automatic Data Processing (ADP) also revised its May report, saying that private employers added about 3 million jobs, instead of reducing their payroll by nearly 2.8 million as earlier reported.
"The results of easing lockdowns in the US turned out impressive. After the easing of lockdowns, the ISM manufacturing index in June and the ADP's corrected payroll report signaled some improvements," said SK Securities analyst An Young-jin.
Most large caps finished in positive terrain.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 0.57 percent to 52,900 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix dipped 1.06 percent to 84,400 won.
Internet giant Naver jumped 2.97 percent to 277,000 won, and its rival Kakao shot up 5.94 percent to 285,500 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem climbed 0.92 percent to 496,000 won.
Pharmaceuticals fared strong, apparently taking a cue from the progress made in the early trial of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine from US drugmakers Pfizer Inc. and BioNtech.
SK Biopharmaceuticals Co. Ltd., the largest IPO offering of the year so far, skyrocketed 29.59 percent to 127,000 won on the day of its debut.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics surged 4.52 percent to 786,000 won, and Celltrion spiked 3.70 percent to 308,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,200 won against the US dollar, up 3.40 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 1.6 basis points to 0.831 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond retreated 1.8 basis points to 1.114 percent. (Yonhap)