South Korean shares closed higher Monday despite a hike in global virus outbreaks, buoyed by growing expectations for an additional stimulus package. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped
35.81 points, or 1.67 percent, to close at 2,186.06. Trading volume was high at about 642 million shares worth some 10.3 trillion won ($8.6 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 613 to 230.
Foreigners bought a net 100 billion won, while retail investors sold a net 289 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 201 billion won.
Hopes of a quick economic recovery fueled the KOSPI's hike.
South Korea is also set to release details of the New Deal stimulus package this week, aimed at creating jobs and fostering economic growth against the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"The biggest event this week is the details of the coming Korean New Deal stimulus project," SK Securities analyst Han Dae-hoon said.
"Digital and green are the two keywords for the New Deal, meaning that the plan will primarily focus on digital infrastructure and contact-free industries," he added.
More upbeat data also boosted market sentiment.
South Korea's exports fell 1.7 percent on-year in the first 10 days of July, but a slower rate of decline signaled a recovery in outbound shipments.
Exports of memory chips, a key item, rose 7.7 percent over the 10-day period from a year earlier, raising market bellwether Samsung Electronics up 1.33 percent to close at 53,400 won. No. 2 chipmaker added 0.24 percent to 83,000 won.
Outbound shipments of automobiles gained 7.3 percent over the cited period, leading to large auto gains.
The KOSPI's increase came despite the growing new coronavirus toll.
South Korea added 62 cases Monday, raising the total caseload to 13,479. Imported cases increased by the largest number in nearly four months.
Daily coronavirus infections in the United States topped 66,000 cases on Sunday (US time). The heavily populated Florida added more than 15,000 new cases, marking the largest single-day increase in COVID cases.
Most large caps closed higher.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics slipped 0.14 percent to 730,000 won, while Celltrion rose 1.39 percent to 329,000 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem added 3.4 percent to 547,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 3.26 percent to 101,500 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors surging 5.46 percent to 33,800 won. Hyundai's auto part manufacturing unit Hyundai Mobis spiked 6.23 percent to 204,500 won.
The country's largest game publisher NCSOFT added 2.22 percent to 965,000 won, with its rival Netmarble spiking 4.71 percent to 133,500 won.
Leading steelmaker POSCO gained 2.75 percent to 187,000 won.
Internet giant Naver shed 0.67 percent to 297,000 won, and its rival Kakao retreated 0.98 percent to 352,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,200.9 won per dollar, up 3.6 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 1.1 basis points to 0.860 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond slipped 2.1 basis points to 1.146 percent. (Yonhap)