An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks rebounded sharply Friday, as investors shook off hotter-than-expected US inflation data and bet price increases would soon peak. The local currency gained ground against the greenback.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 49.68 points, or 2.3 percent, to end at 2,212.55.
The index lost 20.29 points, or 0.9 percent, from last week’s closing of 2,232.84.
Trading volume was moderate at 501 million shares worth 7.01 trillion won ($4.89 billion), with gainers far outpacing losers 848 to 61.
Retail investors offloaded a net 622.9 billion won worth of shares, while institutions and foreigner bought a net 624.8 billion won worth of shares.
The market opened higher, taking a cue from a surge on Wall Street, which staged a remarkable turnaround to close higher, after plunging significantly earlier in the session.
Traders shrugged off persistently high consumer price growth. US consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in September and 8.2 percent from a year earlier, despite the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary tightening policy.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.83 percent, and the S&P 500 rose 2.6 percent. The Nasdaq Composite added 2.23 percent.
The Korean market “went up in sync with the global market,” which was boosted by “bargain hunting and the expectation that inflation could peak” soon, Park Sang-hyun, an analyst at Hi Investment & Securities, said.
“But it is uncertain whether the market will continue its rally, given high prices, additional rate hikes and economic conditions,” he said.
In Seoul, big-cap shares finished higher across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1.99 percent to close at 56,300 won, and chip giant SK hynix inched up 0.63 percent to 95,500 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 1.52 percent to 167,000 won, and its affiliate Kia gained 1.02 percent to 69,000 won.
Battery maker LG Energy Solutions, the country’s second-largest company by market capitalization, added 1.26 percent to 483,000 won.
Internet giant Naver advanced 4.42 percent to 165,500 won, and Kakao, the operator of popular mobile messenger app Kakao Talk, surged 8.67 percent to 51,400 won.
Major chemical firm LG Chem was among the few losers, going down 0.35 percent to 573,000 won.
The Korean won finished at 1,428.50 won against the US dollar, up 2.8 won from the previous session’s close. (Yonhap)