An electronic board at the Korea Exchange’s Seoul office shows South Korea’s benchmark Kospi reached an all-time closing high of 3,252.12 points June 7, 2021. (KRX)
South Korea’s key stock index Kospi set an all-time record high at June 7's closing, nearly a month after the benchmark logged the previous closing high, backed by institutions and retail investors’ net purchases.
The benchmark advanced 0.37 percent to close at 3,252.12 points, breaking its previous record of 3,249.3 points from May 10.
It started off at 3,244.59 points and got as high as 3,264.41 in the early morning trade.
The index erased some earlier gains to trade around the 3,240 point-level afterward, but as institutional investors turned to net buyers, it again moved upward throughout the day.
Institutions and small domestic investors purchased a net 118.4 billion won ($106.4 million) and 65.5 billion won, respectively, to hoist the index amid eased US tapering jitters. Offshore investors, however, dumped 187.4 billion won.
The tech-heavy Kosdaq bourse closed at 985.86 points, down 0.17 percent from the previous session’s close. It began trading higher at 989.16 and once touched 993.06 points. But during most of the trading hours, the index followed a downward trend, affected by foreign investors’ net sales worth 99.1 billion won.
Foreigners turned to net sellers on both the Kospi and Kosdaq markets after scooping up local shares for a third consecutive session.
Market watchers suggested a positive outlook on foreigners’ net buying this month, backed by the continuously weakening US dollar against the Korean won. The local currency traded at 1,112.9 won per dollar, up 3.6 won per dollar or 0.32 percent, from the previous session‘s close.
Foreign investors turned to net sellers of South Korean stocks last month, ending their buying spree after a month, according to the nation’s market watchdog.
Foreigners offloaded a net 10.17 trillion won worth of local stocks -- 9.73 trillion won from the Kospi market and 440 billion won from the Kosdaq market -- in May, marking the second-highest monthly total. The highest was 11.9 trillion won in March last year.
It was also a stark reversal from their net purchases of 672 billion won a month earlier, the Financial Supervisory Service’s data showed.
The combined value of all Korean stocks held by offshore investors came to 820.2 trillion won as of end-May, down 2.3 trillion won from the previous month. They accounted for 30.1 percent of the country’s market capitalization.
While investors from the US held the largest amount of Korean stocks, worth 336.4 trillion won in the local stock market, they also sold the most -- 2.91 trillion won worth. Investors from the UK offloaded 2.73 trillion won of stock and Swiss investors sold off 1.32 trillion won.
On the contrary, investors from Singapore and Canada purchased a net 654 billion won and 320 billion won, respectively. Hong Kongers were the third-biggest net buyers at 78 billion won, according to the FSS.
After the one-month net sales, however, foreign investors again scooped up 748.3 billion from the local stock market in the first week of this month amid eased US tapering jitters, according to data compiled by the Korea Exchange.
In line with their sudden return, the Kospi index moved up by 1.13 percent to 3,240.08 points at the closing of Friday, drawing nearer to its all-time closing high of 3,249.3 points set on May 10.
By Jie Ye-eun (firstname.lastname@example.org)