S.Korea stocks close at record high on vaccine hopes, Biden transition

SEOUL: South Korean shares ended at a record high on Tuesday, with Samsung Electronics leading gains, as COVID-19 vaccine developments and U.S. President-elect Joe Biden receiving formal approval for his White House transition boosted sentiment.

The won weakened, while the benchmark bond yield rose.

The KOSPI closed up 15.17 points, or 0.58%, at 2,617.76, extending its rally for a fourth day. It jumped as much as 1% to an all-time high earlier in the session.

Chip giant Samsung Electronics gained for the third straight session, after surging as much as 2.96% to a record high in early trading, a day after data showed a surge in South Korea's chip exports.

Foreigners were net buyers for a 14th straight session, the longest buying spree since August 2016. They have bought a total net 7.09 trillion won worth of shares over the past 14 sessions.

AstraZeneca on Monday said its COVID-19 vaccine, cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than its rivals, could be as much as 90% effective.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday allowed officials to proceed with a transition to Biden, giving his Democratic rival access to briefings and funding even as he vowed to persist with efforts to fight the election results.

South Korea's central bank is expected to keep its policy interest rate unchanged on Thursday, as signs of an economic recovery and rising household debt outweigh concerns about a third wave of coronavirus infections.

The won was quoted at 1,112.7 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform, 0.21% lower than its previous close at 1,110.4.

In offshore trading, the won was quoted at 1,111.3, while in non-deliverable forward trading its one-month contract was quoted at 1,111.5.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds fell 0.02 points to 111.68.

The most liquid three-year Korean treasury bond yield rose by 1.1 basis points to 0.965%. ($1 = 1,111.3300 won) - Reuters

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Kospi , South Korea


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