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Kospi surpasses 2,400-mark after 26 months

A display at Hana Bank’s dealing room in Seoul on Tuesday morning shows the Kospi index rising above the 2,400-level after nearly 26 months. (Hana Bank)
A display at Hana Bank’s dealing room in Seoul on Tuesday morning shows the Kospi index rising above the 2,400-level after nearly 26 months. (Hana Bank)


South Korea’s main bourse Kospi on Tuesday crossed the 2,400-point mark in nearly 26 months, on retail and foreign investors’ buying spree.

The bourse got off to a strong start at 2,396.11 -- up 9.73 points, or 0.41 percent -- from the previous session’s close and sharply gained 22.50 points, or 0.94 percent to reach 2,408.88 in early morning trading, extending its winning streak for the sixth consecutive session.

It was the first time the index has moved above the 2,400-point mark since Jun. 18, 2018, when it hit an intraday high of 2405.56 points. 

The main bourse continued to move upward throughout the day to close at 2,418.67 points. The tech-heavy Kosdaq closed at 860.23, down 2.53 points, or 0.29 percent, from the previous session’s close.

Retail and foreign investors hoisted the index as they bought stocks worth some 102.5 billion won ($86.5 million) and 25 billion won, respectively while institutional investors offloaded 104.1 billion won of stocks at around 9 a.m.

The local stock market saw a V-shaped rebound with the index gaining more than 1,000 points since it dipped below the 1,400-mark in March due to the coronavirus setbacks. 

The index built up gains on the back of a rise in tech and bio shares. Chemical giant LG Chem spiked 4.86 percent and top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics as well as top market cap Samsung Electronics gained 2.85 percent and 0.69 percent, respectively. Internet giant Naver, however, slipped 0.48 percent and its rival Kakao also retreated 0.56 percent.

Shares of the electronic component, cosmetics, steel, and shipbuilding firms mainly drove up the market’s gains.

The upturn in the local stock market tracked an overnight Wall Street rally. Buoyed by growing hopes of an economic recovery as US president Donald Trump has signed executive orders to financially support Americans hit hard by the pandemic, major indexes in the US closed higher on Monday (local time). The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 gained 1.3 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively from the previous session. Nasdaq, however, lost 0.39 percent on the same day. 

“The more economically sensitive stocks across Wall Street, including hotels, cruise operators and airlines notched gains over economic rebound hopes,” said Seo Sang-young, a research at Kiwoom Securities.

Meanwhile, the local currency closed at 1,185.60 won against the US dollar, unchanged from yesterday’s close.

By Choi Jae-hee (cjh@heraldcorp.com)
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