Seoul: Stocks hit near three-month closing high on tech boost, foreign buying

[SEOUL] South Korean shares rose on Tuesday to their highest close in nearly three months, buoyed by tech heavyweights and strong buying by foreigners, while upbeat trade data from China further lifted investor sentiment further. Both the won and the benchmark bond yield slid.

The Kospi settled 33.49 points or 1.07 per cent higher at 3,169.08, its highest close since Jan 25.

Chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix rose 0.96 per cent and 1.45 per cent, respectively. Battery makers LG Chem and Samsung SDI surged 6.24 per cent and 5.34 per cent, respectively.

Samsung SDI jumped to a near one-month high on reports that the company plans to build an EV battery factory in the United States and supply cylindrical-type batteries for Hyundai Motor's hybrid vehicles.

Foreigners were net buyers of 444.9 billion won (S$530.7 million) worth of shares on the main board.

China's exports grew at a robust pace in March while import growth surged to the highest in four years in yet another boost to the nation's economic recovery.

The Bank of Korea is widely expected to keep interest rates at all-time lows on Thursday, as signs of a solid economic recovery are offset by concerns over a recent spike in domestic Covid-19 cases and a slow rollout of vaccines.

The country reported 542 new coronavirus cases for Monday, down from 587 a day earlier.

The won ended at 1,125.9 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.09 per cent lower than its previous close at 1,124.9.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,125.5, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,125.6.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield fell by 0.5 basis point to 1.137 per cent.


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