South Korean shares closed at a record high on Tuesday on hopes that a long-awaited U.S. pandemic aid package would be expanded, though a slew of blue-chips went ex-dividend, capping gains. Both the won and the benchmark bond yield rose.
The benchmark KOSPI rose 11.91 points, or 0.42%, to 2,820.51, extending gains to a fourth day.
Major companies including market heavyweight Samsung Electronics went ex-dividend. Shares of Samsung Electronics ended 0.51% lower.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to increase stimulus payments to qualified Americans to $2,000 from $600, sending the measure on to the Senate for a vote.
South Korea reported 40 new coronavirus deaths, a record daily toll, with 1,046 new infections, as the country grapples with a third wave of infections centred around nursing homes and a prison in the capital Seoul.
The country unveiled a fresh 9.3 trillion won ($8.49 billion) package on Tuesday to support small businesses hit by the third wave of coronavirus and those vulnerable to unemployment due to the outbreak.
Meanwhile, the nation’s export recovery likely accelerated in December due to strong chip demand, though the pandemic continued to add pressure on domestic consumption.
Foreigners were net sellers of 313.7 billion won ($287.33 million) worth of shares on the main board.