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Seoul stocks rally ahead of US election, FOMC meeting

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
Seoul stocks rallied Monday ahead of the upcoming US presidential election and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 33.01 points, or 1.46 percent, to close at 2,300.16.

Trading volume was moderate at about 665 million shares worth around 8.4 trillion won ($7.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 683 to 165.

Foreigners bought a net 49 billion won, and institutions purchased a net 49 billion won, while retail investors sold a net 108 billion won.

Stocks fared bullish after the previous session's 2.56 percent plunge.

Amid the global COVID-19 resurgence and the US election uncertainties, investors pinned hopes on a dovish signal from the FOMC, which has repeatedly said there is more policy room to support the world's largest economy.

Investors are paying keen attention to the results of the US presidential election Tuesday (US time).

"Volatility in the local financial markets is increasingly expanding ahead of the US presidential election and probably will do so after the election too, depending on the voting results," Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.

Earlier in the morning, Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said the central bank may "take market-stabilizing measures in a timely fashion" if the election volatility turns out to be excessive.

In Seoul, most large caps closed higher.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1.41 percent to 57,400 won, but No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.38 percent to 79,600 won.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics gained 2.35 percent to 698,000 won, and Celltrion advanced 1.45 percent to 305,000 won after signing a 210 billion-won ($185 million) deal to supply a COVID-19 diagnostic kit in the US.

Internet portal giant Naver lost 1.55 percent to 285,500 won, while its rival Kakao moved up 1.36 percent to 334,500 won.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem rose 1.96 percent to 623,000 won, but rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI dropped 0.45 percent to 440,000 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, jumped 3.65 percent to 170,500 won, and top steelmaker Posco advanced 3.85 percent to 216,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,133.6 won per dollar, up 1.5 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 3.6 basis points to 0.971 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 5.3 basis points to 1.288 percent. (Yonhap)
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