|A monitor located in the lobby of the Korea Exchange's (KRX) building on Yeouido, Seoul, shows the KOSPI's all-time high closing price of 3,152.18 points set Friday. / Courtesy of KRX|
By Anna J. Park
Korea's benchmark KOSPI continued its bullish upward trend Friday, finishing at 3,152.18 points, setting another all-time high for the stock index, following Thursday when it also surpassed the 3,000-mark.
Friday's run saw an increase of 3.97 percent from the previous session, when the closing price of the main stock index exceeded the symbolic 3,000-mark for the first time since it was launched in 1983. The index once topped 3,161.11 points during intra-day trading Friday.
Foreign investors' net buying of 1.64 trillion won ($1.5 billion) led the index's spike, while individual and institutional investors net sold 558 billion won and 1.14 trillion won, respectively.
Samsung Electronics, the country's largest market cap company, saw its share price rise by 7.12 percent, to finish at 88,800 won. The jump followed the electronics giant's announcement earlier in the day that it expected to report an operating profit of 35.9 trillion won ― a 29.46 percent jump year-on-year.
Hyundai Motor stocks also soared to 246,000 won per share, a 19.42 percent jump from the previous session, following media reports about the possibility of a strategic partnership with Apple in the production of electronic vehicles. Other Hyundai affiliates ― Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai AutoEver, Hyundai WIA and Hyundai Glovis ― all saw their prices rise.
Other blue-chip companies, such as SK hynix, LG Chem, Samsung SDI, Kakao, all hit 52-week highs on the bullish market.
By sector, IT and electronics recorded about a five percent jump on average, while the manufacturing industry and service sectors logged 4 percent.
However, the nation's tech-heavy KOSDAQ fell to close at 987.79 points, 0.11 percent down from the previous session.
Market insiders are voicing concern over the KOSPI's short-term overshooting.
"Next week's stock markets could show a slight rest or correction, following this week's short-term frenzy," market analysts from Hana Financial Investment wrote in their opinions published Friday.
"However, the mid-term tendency of the local markets is likely to show an upward trend, given individual investors' buying power and foreign investors' preference for emerging market stocks," it continued.
Many market watchers agree that the risky assets will be favored during the first quarter of the year, based on an expected economic recovery and planned vaccine distribution.
"The global economy is now facing an expansion phase, where cyclical stock investments are recommended," said Lim Byoung-hyo, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities.
As of early January, a total of 69 trillion won is deposited at local securities firms.