South Korea's benchmark stock index hit an all-time high Thursday on strong foreign buying, buoyed by stimulus hopes related to the inauguration of US President Joe Biden. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 46.29 points, or 1.49 percent, to close at 3,160.84 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.3 billion shares worth some 24.6 trillion won ($22.4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 602 to 246.
Foreigners bought a net 223 billion won, while retail investors sold a net 50 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 160 billion won.
Stocks rose on expectations that the new US administration's potential spending increase could spur global demand.
"Local stocks picked up after overnight global stock rallies that boosted investor sentiment, thanks to broad advances by auto, entertainment, telecommunications and retail," Hana Financial Investment researcher Im Seung-mi said.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1.03 percent to 88,100 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.77 percent to 131,500 won.
Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics edged up 0.13 percent to 796,000 won, and Celltrion gained 0.32 percent to 312,000 won.
Internet portal giant Naver jumped 4.71 percent to 322,500 won, with its rival Kakao rising 2.25 percent to 454,000 won.
Leading chemical maker LG Chem lost 1.2 percent to 988,000 won, and rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI inched up 0.13 percent to 745,000 won.
Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, moved up 2.12 percent to 264,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors hiked 4 percent to 91,100 won.
The local currency closed at 1,098.2 won per dollar, up 2.1 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.5 basis point to 0.971 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 0.2 basis point to 1.283 percent. (Yonhap)