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Seoul stocks spike over 1% amid hope for improving market conditions

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks closed higher for the second straight day Tuesday, as investor sentiment was buoyed by positive outlooks on global supply bottlenecks and other key economic issues. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 34.55 points, or 1.16 percent, to close at 3,013.49 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 513 million shares worth some 9.5 trillion won ($8.08 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 657 to 187.

Foreigners and institutions bought a combined net 1.08 trillion won worth of stocks, while retail investors offloaded a net 1.07 trillion won worth of stocks.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.26 percent to finish the trading day at a record high, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 0.63 percent, also a closing record.

Also better-than-expected data on US manufacturing growth released Monday seemed to have a positive impact on investor sentiment.

Bullish export data, also released Monday, mitigated investors' concerns over the global supply chain and its impact on South Korea's economy down the road.

"There is a number of factors that boosted investors' sentiment today," Park Kwang-nam, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities Co., said by phone.

He cited "remarks by US President Joe Biden during the G-20 Summit that the US will work to ease global supply chain woes."  

Another factor in play, Park said, is comments made by South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki during an investor relations session in London on Monday (local time).

Hong said the government will push to win developed market status from Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI). South Korea remains an emerging market, and the possible upgrade is expected to help dispel the undervaluation of the Korean stock market.

The local stock market rose across the board. Tech shares won big.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. added 2.29 percent to 71,500 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. increased 0.94 percent to 107,500 won, and top automaker Hyundai Motor Co. advanced 0.96 percent to 210,000 won.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics was flat at 874,000 won, and battery maker Samsung SDI increased 1.11 percent to 731,000 won. South Korean tech giant Kakao Corp. gained 1.99 percent to close at 128,000 won.

LG Chemical, South Korea's leading chemical company, lost 0.12 percent to 831,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,174.40 won against the US dollar, up 2.10 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)