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Seoul stocks almost hit 2-year high on economic rebound hopes

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

South Korean shares rallied Tuesday, nearly hitting a two-year high, as signs of economic recovery improved investor sentiment. The Korean won fell against the US dollar. 

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 28.93 points, or 1.29 percent, to close at 2,279.97, after briefly touching the year's high of 2,284.66 points. The closing marks the highest since 2,309.57 points on Oct. 2, 2018. 

Trading volume was moderate at about 713 million shares worth some 9.3 trillion won ($12.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 677 to 171. 

Foreigners sold a net 58 billion won, extending their selling streak to a third consecutive session. Retail investors purchased a net 185 billion won, while institutions offloaded a net 149 billion won. 

Estimate-beating July manufacturing data in the United States, China and Europe raised hopes for a global economic rebound, despite the resurgence of new coronavirus outbreaks. 

The US manufacturing index by the Institute for Supply Management rose to 54.2 in July, up from 52.6 in June. A reading above 50 marks expansion. 
China's Caixin Manufacturing Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) stood at 52.8 over the cited period, with an advance in key manufacturing indices in Europe as well. 

"Investor sentiment was boosted by upbeat manufacturing data in both the US and China," Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said. 

In Seoul, most large caps closed in positive terrain. 

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.88 percent to 57,300 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix slipped 0.24 percent to 81,600 won. 

Leading chemical maker LG Chem rose 1.1 percent to 642,000 won. 

Top automaker Hyundai Motor surged 4.33 percent to 132,500 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors advancing 3.65 percent to 41,150 won. 

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics slid 0.14 percent to 735,000 won, but Celltrion advanced 1 percent to 302,000 won. 

Internet giant Naver retreated 1.11 percent to 311,000 won, while its rival Kakao added 1.09 percent to 370,000 won. 

The local currency closed at 1,194,10 won per dollar, down 0.70 won from the previous session's close. 

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.3 basis point to 0.802 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond jumped 1.5 basis points to 1.055 percent. (Yonhap)
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