The Korea Herald


Seoul shares spike over 1% on foreign buying binge

By Yonhap

Published : Feb. 19, 2024 - 16:07

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An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap) An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks rose more than 1 percent higher for the second straight session Monday on the back of a foreign buying spree. The local currency slightly increased against the US greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 31.5 points, or 1.19 percent, to close at 2,680.26, following a 1.34 percent jump Friday.

Trade volume was slim at 413.7 million shares worth 9.6 trillion won ($7.2 billion), with gainers beating decliners 617 to 261.

Foreigners were net buyers with 607.6 billion won and institutions with a net 442.4 billion won, while individuals dumped a net 1 trillion won.

Foreigners are estimated to have snatched up some 6 trillion won worth of local stocks so far this month.

Experts noted that foreign investors have pinned high hopes on the government's value-up programs to be announced next week.

The program will include measures to elevate the corporate value of underperforming stocks, or low price-to-book ratio stocks, as part of the government's plans to tackle the undervaluation of the domestic stock market.

"Foreigners expect Korea will experience a rally as Japan and Taiwan have done so," said Lee Jae-won, an analyst from Shinhan Securities Co.

Tech shares were among the biggest winners.

Top cap Samsung Electronics added 1.37 percent to 73,800 won and its chipmaking rival SK hynix jumped 3.07 percent to 151,300 won.

Top oil refinery SK Innovation advanced 1.42 percent to 128,900, and leading chemicals manufacturer LG Chem moved up 0.79 percent to 508,000 won.

Insurers also traded in positive territory, with Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance surging 4.44 percent to 317,500 won and Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance climbing 2.47 percent to 35,300 won.

Korea Aerospace Industries rose 4.09 percent to 53,400 won after a deal with a German arms company, and Hanwha Aerospace also soared 7.5 percent to 151,900 won.

But No. 1 battery maker LG Energy Solution retreated 3.05 percent to 397,500 won, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor stayed unchanged at 252,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,335.2 won against the greenback, up 0.2 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed slightly higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 0.8 basis point to 3.397 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds lost 1 basis point to 3.437 percent. (Yonhap)