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Foreign buying spree pushes Kospi above 2,540, to highest point in 33 months

Samsung Electronics shares hit all-time high, up more than 17 percent in Nov.

An electric board at the Korea Exchange shows the closing of Kospi and Kosdaq on Monday. (KRX)
An electric board at the Korea Exchange shows the closing of Kospi and Kosdaq on Monday. (KRX)
South Korea’s main bourse Kospi, crossed the 2,540-point mark Monday for the first time in nearly 33 months, amid net buying on a massive scale by foreign investors, according to market operator the Korea Exchange.

The nation’s benchmark began trading at 2,507.46, up 13.59 points or 0.54 percent from the previous session’s close. It sustained an uptrend to close at 2,543.03, extending its winning streak for a third consecutive session.

The index had not surpassed the 2,500-point mark during trading hours since May 3, 2018, when it hit an intraday high of 2,507.91 points. The closing figure was also the highest since the index marked 2,568.54 on Feb. 2, 2018.

The rally was largely attributed to a buying spree by foreigners, who scooped up nearly 4.75 trillion won ($4.29 billion) over the past eight sessions. The short-term market-hoisting effect was also visible as they bought some 464.3 billion won on Monday alone.

It was the first time that a net buying trend was sustained for eight consecutive trading days since the Jan. 3-14 period. The amount purchased was more than double the 1.82 trillion won observed in early January.

“COVID-19 continues to spread but anticipation for the virus vaccine development has raised hopes for economic recovery,” said Lee Young-gon, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment. “Foreigners’ massive purchase of large-cap stocks also hitched up the index.”

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics saw its stocks surging to an all-time high as foreigners snapped up around 5.65 million shares. The leading tech firm’s stock reached 66,300 won, advancing 3,100 won, or 4.91 percent, from the previous session’s close, at the closing bell.

While foreign investors’ purchased 33.91 million shares on the tech giant in November, the stock surged 17.14 percent. Buttressed by their massive purchase, Samsung’s market capitalization came to 394.6 trillion won, near the 400 trillion-won-mark for the first time.

Along with Samsung Electronics, shares of SK hynix also soared by 8,300 won, or 9.25 percent, from the previous session to 98,000 won, at the closing bell.

The tech-heavy Kosdaq also started off strong at 843.49 -- up 4.35 points, or 0.52 percent, from the previous session’s close -- and reached 847.33 at the closing as both foreign and institutional investors loaded up a combined 215.7 billion won.

The strong Korean won against the US dollar also raised the local indexes. The local currency traded at 1,109.3 won against the greenback, strengthening 6.3 won per dollar from the previous session’s close.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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