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Seoul shares end higher on strong chip stocks

Feb. 22, 2024 - 16:50 By Yonhap
An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks snapped a two-day losing streak Thursday on strong performance by chip heavyweights after Nvidia's better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The local currency rose against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 10.96 points, or 0.41 percent, to close at 2,664.27.

Trade volume was moderate at 445.3 million shares worth 10.1 trillion won ($7.6 billion), with decliners beating gainers 509 to 348.

Foreigners and institutions scooped up local shares worth 163.5 billion won and 74.7 billion won, respectively. Individuals sold a net 273.2 billion won.

"The Kospi was boosted by bullish semiconductor shares following Nvidia's earnings results," said Lee Jae-won from Shinhan Securities Co. "The Bank of Korea froze the key rate at 3.5 percent as widely expected, hardly affecting the market."

SK hynix, a key supplier for Nvidia, jumped 5.03 percent to a record 156,500 won and Hanmi Semiconductor shot up 6.7 percent to 76,400 won. Samsung Electronics, the world's No. 1 memory chipmaker, climbed 0.14 percent to 73,100 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 1.67 percent to 243,500 won and its sister Kia gained 2.14 percent to 119,300 won.

Hybe, a record label behind BTS, vaulted 3.57 percent to 217,500 won after announcing plans to release a new album of a BTS member, J-Hope, who is now on military duty.

But leading chemicals maker LG Chem shrank 3.8 percent to 481,000 won, and major bio firm Samsung Biologics retreated 0.36 percent to 820,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,328.7 won against the greenback, up 6 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)