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Kospi returns above 2,300 points after 22 months

A sign at the Korea Exchange on Wednesday shows the Kospi index closed at 2,311.86, recovering above the 2,300-level after nearly 22 months. (KRX)
A sign at the Korea Exchange on Wednesday shows the Kospi index closed at 2,311.86, recovering above the 2,300-level after nearly 22 months. (KRX)

South Korea’s main bourse Kospi on Wednesday rose 31.89 points, or 1.4 percent, to 2,311.86, recovering above the level of 2,300 after nearly 22 months, on retail investors’ buying spree for a sixth consecutive session as signs of economic recovery improved investor sentiment.

It was the first time the index moved above the 2,300-point mark since Oct. 4, 2018, when it marked 2,311.06. The closing also marked the highest since 2,338.88 on Oct. 1 in the same year. The index hit an intraday high of 2,312.14, recording a fresh 52-week high.

Retail investors purchased a net 429.6 billion won ($361.39 million) of stocks, while foreign investors and institutional investors, who were net buyers in early trading, ended up turning to net sellers and dumped a net 51.8 billion won and 363.9 billion won in local shares, respectively.

The tech-heavy Kosdaq closed at 847.28, up 11.93 points, or 1.43 percent, from the previous session’s close. The index hit a 52-week high for a second straight day, reaching 847.38 during trading. Contrary to a day earlier, foreign and institutional investors hoisted the index by scooping up local shares, while retail investors offloaded stocks.

“Along with companies’ better-than-expected earnings in the second quarter, the outlooks of their performance in the third and fourth quarter are also not that bad so far,” said Seo Jeong-hoon, an analyst at Samsung Securities.

“Amid lowered interest rates around the globe, stock investment has become relatively more attractive than other investing options. Expansion of liquidity has also attributed to the rises in local stock indexes.”

Meanwhile, the local currency closed at 1,188.8 won against the US dollar, strengthening 5.3 won from the previous session. It was the first time the local currency closed below 1,190 won per dollar since March 5, when it was 1,182.2 won per dollar.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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