South Korean Stocks Surge 1.45% on Gains in Financial, Auto Sectors

South Korean stocks surge 1.45% on April 22, 2024, driven by gains in finance, auto, and blue-chip sectors, reflecting investor confidence and global market interconnectedness.

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Israel Ojoko
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South Korean Stocks Surge 1.45% on Gains in Financial, Auto Sectors

South Korean Stocks Surge 1.45% on Gains in Financial, Auto Sectors

South Korean stocks closed 1.45% higher at 2,629.44 on April 22, 2024, driven by strong gains in financial, auto, and blue-chip stocks.

KB Financial Group, one of the country's largest banking and financial services companies, surged 9.11%, while automaker Hyundai Motor rose 4.26%. The Korean won also strengthened against the U.S. dollar, trading at 1,379.2 won per dollar at the close.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 32.11 points, or 1.24%, in the first 15 minutes of trading, with financial stocks leading the overall bullish market. Bio shares, auto and battery makers also enjoyed strong gains, while tech shares lost ground.

Analysts attributed the market's positive performance to eased tensions in the Middle East and reduced concerns over U.S. monetary policy direction. "Financial stocks, led by KB Financial and Shinhan Financial, and automakers, including Hyundai Motor and Kia, were the top performers," said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities. "However, tech shares, such as Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, retreated after Nvidia shares plunged the previous week."

Why this matters: The strong performance of South Korean stocks reflects investor confidence in the country's financial and automotive sectors, as well as the stability of the Korean won. The gains also highlight the interconnectedness of global markets, with events in the Middle East and U.S. monetary policy influencing investor sentiment in Asia.

The surge in South Korean stocks contrasted with the gloom on Wall Street, where big tech stocks had their worst week since the COVID crash in 2020. Shares were broadly higher in Europe and Asia as investors focused on the latest corporate earnings reports. The Chinese central bank kept its loan prime rates unchanged, waiting to see if more stimulus is needed after the economy expanded faster than expected in the first quarter. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo added 1%, while the Kospi in South Korea jumped 1.3%.

Key Takeaways

  • South Korean stocks closed 1.45% higher, led by gains in finance, auto, and blue-chip stocks.
  • KB Financial Group surged 9.11%, while Hyundai Motor rose 4.26%; Korean won strengthened against USD.
  • KOSPI gained 1.24% in the first 15 minutes, with financial stocks leading the bullish market.
  • Positive performance attributed to eased Middle East tensions and reduced concerns over U.S. monetary policy.
  • Contrasts with gloom on Wall Street, as Asian markets focused on latest corporate earnings reports.