S.Korean stocks rebound on expectation for stimulus measures

SEOUL, March 2 (Xinhua) -- South Korean stocks made the first rebound in four trading days on Monday amid rising expectations for stimulus measures in response to the global spread of the COVID-19.


File photo: CGTN

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 15.50 points, or 0.78 percent, to settle at 2,002.51. Trading volume stood at 498.6 million shares worth 7.6 trillion won (6.4 billion U.S. dollars).

Expectations emerged for major economies to disclose stimulus measures in a bid to tackle the expected economic slowdown from the COVID-19 outbreak, market experts here said.

U.S. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell released a statement on Friday to say the COVID-19 posed evolving risks to the U.S. economy, raising a possibility for the U.S. central bank to cut target rates at its March rate-setting meeting.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered government officials last week to draw up a supplementary budget, which was estimated at over 6 trillion won (5 billion U.S. dollars), to stimulate the lackluster economy.

The country's confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 4,000 as of Monday morning. The majority of cases were reported in less than two weeks.

Foreigners dumped local stocks, remaining as net seller in the domestic stock market for the sixth straight session. Retail and institutional investors bought shares, leading the KOSPI's turnaround.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.5 percent, and memory chip giant SK Hynix jumped 4.8 percent. The most-used search engine Naver added 0.6 percent, and leading chemical firm LG Chem climbed 2.5 percent.

Biopharmaceutical behemoth Celltrion increased 2.9 percent, but the biggest automaker Hyundai Motor dipped 1.3 percent.

South Korea's currency finished at 1,193.7 won against the greenback, up 20.0 won from the previous close. It was the biggest appreciation in 38 months.