UPDATE 1-S.Korea's KOSPI hits 3,000 for the first time in history

Market trading boards are seen at the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney, Friday, February 9, 2018. ( AAP Image/Ben Rushton) NO ARCHIVING

(Updates with analyst comment, milestone detail)

SEOUL, Jan 6 (Reuters) – South Korea’s main KOSPI index surpassed 3,000 for the first time on Wednesday, as investors driving the steepest rally in years look towards a broad recovery in exports beyond the country’s tech titans.

The benchmark KOSPI was trading up 0.77% at 3,013.56 at 0028 GMT, putting it on track for its eighth straight day of gains.

Nicknamed as the “Boxpi” among local investors prior to the coronavirus pandemic because of its narrow range of trading, it took the index 13-and-a-half years to break above the 3,000 mark after hitting 2,000 in mid-2007.

“The new milestone means investors are now seeing the Korean market differently,” said Lee Jae-sun, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment. “It means the so-called Korea discount risk has been diminishing, as dividend payouts increases and shareholder return policies improve.”

Early on Wednesday, chipmaker SK Hynix was trading up 3%, while car makers such as Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors were swinging between gains and losses.

The Kospi index surged 30.8% in 2020, its largest annual percentage gain since 2009, driven by tech shares such as Naver and Kakao, as well as Samsung Electronics, which almost doubled in price since last year’s lows reached in March.

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