SEOUL (Xinhua) – South Korean shares rose for three straight days on Friday due to the so-called “January effect”, which means investors buy stocks during the beginning of the year on expectations for economic recovery.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 20.05 points, or 1.05 per cent, to 1,924.70 at the close. Trading volume stood at 305.1 million shares worth 4.25 trillion won (3.9 billion US dollars).
Market sentiment improved on rising expectations that the European Central Bank (ECB) may unveil additional stimulus measures on low inflation.
ECB President Mario Draghi signaled further stimulus measures, such as purchases of government bonds, in his letter to the European Parliament.
Europe and US stocks gained ground overnight, helping boost sentiment among investors.
Samsung Electronics announced better-than-expected fourth- quarter earnings on Thursday, bolstering expectations for the fourth-quarter earnings season.
Foreign and institutional investors bought shares worth 136.1 billion won and 103.5 billion won each, but retail investors sold shares worth 281.6 billion won.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics closed unchanged at 1,314, 000 won, but top automaker Hyundai Motor added 1.1 per cent. The biggest steelmaker POSCO gained 1.6 per cent, and Naver, the country’s most-used search engine, rose 1.1 per cent.
The biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis advanced 3.3 per cent and the No 1 mobile operator SK Telecom inched up 0.4 per cent. Memory giant SK Hynix fell 0.5 per cent, and the state-run power supplier Korea Electric Power Corp lost 0.1 per cent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,090.0 won against the greenback, up 6.9 won from Thursday’s close.
Bond prices ended higher. Yields on the liquid three-year treasury notes fell 0.4 basis points to 2.068 per cent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds lost 0.9 basis points to 2.543 per cent.