Seoul: Stocks end higher; clock fourth straight weekly gain

[SEOUL] South Korean shares closed higher on Friday due to higher buying by foreign investors, with the benchmark recording its fourth straight weekly gain. The won logged the sharpest gain in near six months, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

The Kospi closed up 6.23 points or 0.26 per cent at 2,412.40. For the week, the index rose 0.66 per cent.

"Despite lack of upward momentum (in Kospi), favourable FX market conditions led to foreign investors' inflow in both spot and futures markets," Daishin Securities' analyst Lee Kyoung-min said, adding that healthcare and chemicals towed the market.

Foreigners were net buyers of 143.6 billion won (S$166.3 million) worth of shares on the main board.

Meanwhile, finance ministers and central bankers from China, Japan and South Korea agreed to redouble their efforts to help the region's economy recover from the virus crisis. South Korea reported 126 new Covid-19 cases as of Thursday midnight.

The healthcare index jumped 1.8 per cent after the country approved Celltrion's experimental Covid-19 treatment for Phase 2/3 clinical trials.

LG Chem rebounded 3.3 per cent after plunging as much as 9 per cent on Thursday on the company's plans to separate its battery business into a new corporation in December.

The won ended at 1,160.3 per US dollar on the onshore settlement platform, up 1.22 per cent, the sharpest gain since late-March.

The currency jumped 2.29 per cent for the week, logging the biggest weekly percentage gain since early-June.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,160.1 per US dollar, while in non-deliverable forward trading, its one-month contract was quoted at 1,160.3.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.9 basis point to 0.908 per cent, while the benchmark 10-year yield fell by 0.6 basis point to 1.505 per cent.


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