Shares gain 0.32% on eurozone optimism
Korean stocks rose 0.32 percent Thursday as investor sentiment was buoyed by a European Union (EU) move to tackle its fiscal problems and prevent Greece from defaulting on its debt, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 5.85 points to 1,814.47. Trading volume was light at just 400 million shares worth 3.47 trillion won ($2.94 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 415 to 376.
"Conditions surrounding Greece and other European political developments have weighed down the bourse, but there is optimism that EU leaders will move quickly after Wednesday's summit to prevent the fiscal crisis from getting out of hand," said Lim Soo-kyun, an analyst at Samsung.
EU leaders met informally to discuss how best to prevent Greece from defaulting on its debts and contain concerns of fiscal debt problems spilling over into the financial sector that can affect global economic growth.
He said bargain hunting for red cap shares fell in the previous day's trading, and hopes the United States and China will announce economic stimulus measures that will also help the market.
Many big caps posted gains with electronics, steel and chemical leading the upward swing.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics moved up 0.33 percent to 1,225,000 won, with LG Electronics, a leading electronic appliance manufacturer, adding 1.69 percent to 66,300 won.
Leading steelmaker POSCO gained 0.57 percent to 353,500 won, with LG Chem, a globally established manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, rising 1.69 percent to 279,000 won.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipmaker, moved up 0.78 percent to 257,000 won, with Kia Motors gaining 0.53 percent to 75,900 won.
Shares of top automaker Hyundai Motor, however, remained flat at 233,500 won.
The local currency finished at 1,180.5 won to the U.S. greenback, down 7.6 won from Wednesday's close, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasuries edged down 0.01 percentage point to 3.35 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds also slipped 0.01 percentage point to 3.47 percent. (Yonhap)