Seoul shares ended higher for second straight session Monday as investors scooped up large-cap stocks on bargain hunting following gains on Wall Street and hopes for economic recovery in China. The South Korean won rose to the highest in over one month to the US dollar.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 31.61 points, or 1.2 percent, to close at 2,669.66. Trading volume was moderate at 458.66 million shares worth 7.32 trillion won ($5.9 billion), with gainers outpacing decliners 712 to 154.
Institutions and foreigners bought a combined 770 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' stock sell-off valued at 799 billion won.
The main KOSPI index advanced as China eased its virus curbs on business activity in Shanghai and Beijing, and the US stocks rebounded on hopes that inflationary pressure may have peaked out.
US inflation decelerated to 6.3 percent year-over-year in April, its first slowdown in 17 months.
Technology and auto stocks were lead gainers, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. rising 1.8 percent to 67,700 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. climbing 0.9 percent to 107,000 won and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. gaining 1 percent to 187,500 won.
Among decliners, leading shipper HMM fell 5.3 percent to 31,950 won, state-run Korea Gas Corp. declined 2 percent to 43,700 won, and No. 1 refiner SK Innovation Co. shed 0.5 percent to 210,000 won.
The local currency ended at 1,238.60 won against the US dollar, sharply up 17.60 won from the previous session's close, the highest since April 22, on the back of growing appetite for risky assets. (Yonhap)