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Seoul shares soar over 1.3% on chip rally

By Yonhap

Published : Jan. 19, 2024 - 17:28

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

South Korean stocks soared more than 1.3 percent Friday as big-cap chip shares rallied following an overnight tech boost on Wall Street. The local currency edged up against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index jumped 32.70 points, or 1.34 percent, to 2,472.74.

Trading volume was slim at 499.2 million shares worth 9 trillion won ($6.7 billion), with winners outpacing losers 518 to 345.

Foreigners turned to net buyers with a net purchase of 683.2 billion won worth of shares, while individual investors and institutions unloaded shares worth 459.9 billion won and 231.3 billion won, respectively.

Overnight, all three major US indexes gained ground, led by the strong performance of tech giants, such as Apple and TSMC. Apple gained 3.3 percent as the Bank of America upgraded its rating on the company to buy from neutral, and TSMC spiked 9.8 percent on stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings.

In Seoul, chip shares also boosted the Kospi.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shot up 4.18 percent to 74,700 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix soared 3.74 percent to 141,300 won.

Bio and auto shares were also strong.

Bio giant Samsung Biologics jumped 2.67 percent to 770,000 won, and Celltrion gained 0.74 percent to 176,000 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 0.83 percent to 181,700 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia went up 0.34 percent to 87,600 won.

But battery shares lost ground.

Leading battery maker LG Energy Solution declined 1.79 percent to 383,500 won, its smaller rival Samsung SDI lost 0.66 percent to 374,000 won, and POSCO Future M plunged 2.11 percent to 278,500 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor dropped 2.36 percent to 181,800 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia retreated 2.12 percent to 87,900 won.

Steel giant POSCO Holdings and leading chemical producer LG Chem also plummeted 4.23 percent and 5.44 percent to 419,000 won and 408,500 won, respectively.

The local currency ended at 1,339.00 won against the greenback, up 0.7 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 2.2 basis points to 3.307 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds added 3.0 basis points to 3.359 percent. (Yonhap)