South Korean stocks ended 0.84 percent higher on Tuesday, as automakers and technology firms rebounded from their recent slides, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) climbed 16.25 points to 1,955.96, snapping four straight sessions of losses. Trading volume was moderate at 459 million shares worth 4.57 trillion won (US$4.21 billion), with gainers outnumbering decliners 440 to 350.
"The KOSPI's recent drops stoked investor appetite for bargain hunting," said Kim Young-jun, an analyst at SK Securities Co.
"Concerns over IT shares, triggered by falls in Apple shares, also seem to have weakened," Kim added.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics led the gain, rising 2.7 percent to 1,409,000 won. Panel maker LG Display added 2.68 percent to 28,750 won amid easing worries over Apple's move to cut supply orders.
Automakers also powered the main stock index. Top automaker Hyundai Motor jumped 4.03 percent to 206,500 won and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors surged 5.1 percent to 51,500 won.
Mobile operators, however, ended in negative territory, with leading player SK Telecom falling 2.33 percent to 167,500 won.
POSCO slipped 0.14 percent to 355,500 won ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings release later in the day. Analysts predicted the top steelmaker to underperform consensus forecasts on higher-than-expected production costs and a slow recovery in demand.
The local currency ended at 1,082.5 won against the U.S. dollar, up 11 won from Monday's close, on end-month settlements by exporters, dealers said. (Yonhap News)