Seoul: Stocks surge; up 50% from March lows as techs lead relief rally

[SEOUL] South Korean stocks surged nearly 3 per cent to close at a more than three-month high on Wednesday, led by bluechips such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor and as global economic recovery hopes offset concerns over Sino-US tensions.

The benchmark Kospi ended up 2.87 per cent at 2,147, its highest closing level since Feb 21, before the global spread of the novel coronavirus.

The index is also up nearly 50 per cent from its March lows, in the steepest equity relief rally across Asia, aided by the government handling the Covid-19 crisis well.

"...bold fiscal expansion and monetary easing have been supporting stock prices even as economic indicators yet show clear signs of improvement," said Choi Seok-won, head of SK Securities' research centre.

Chip giants Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix surged over 6 per cent each, while Hyundai Motor Co gained 5.9 per cent after its global sales jumped.

"Investors appear to be rushing to buy stocks on belief that economic situations will gradually improve towards next year," said Yoon Ji-ho, head of eBEST Investment & Securities' research centre, adding, factors such as the US election and future virus development need to be considered.

Foreigners bought net US$167.83 million worth of shares on the main board, but they have offloaded shares worth around 23.3 trillion won (S$27.6 billion) so far this year.


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