South Korean stocks closed 0.46 percent higher on the back of the country's brisk exports that offset investors' concerns over U.S. tapering of its economic stimulus, analysts said. The local currency ended unchanged against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 9.33 points to finish at 2,039.42. Trading volume was light at 290.1 million shares worth 3.59 trillion won ($3.37 billion) with gainers outstripping losers 402 to 394.
The main index kept its upward trend on Friday on the back of firm foreign buying that returned a day after overseas investors snapped their record-long, 44-day buying spree.
Analysts said the continued foreign inflow is an indication that the local market still comes as an attractive spot for foreigners with sound economic fundamentals, as the record monthly high October exports showed.
"The sound trade surplus supports the outlook that the Korean market will keep drawing constant foreign inflows as exports are closely linked to the economic fundamentals," said Kim Doo-un, an analyst at Hana Daewoo Securities Co.
The trade ministry said earlier Korea's exports reached an all-time monthly high of $50.5 billion in October.
Overseas investors scooped up a net 157.3 billion won on the main bourse, while retail and institutional investors offloaded a net 88.9 billion won and 70.5 billion won each.
Shares of tech and telecom blue-chips led the KOSPI's gain. SK hynix jumped 4.07 percent to 33,250 won and top mobile carrier SK Telecom hiked 2.86 percent to 233,500 won.
But machineries lost ground, with Doosan Infracore, a heavy equipment maker, tumbling 4.93 percent to 14,450 won.
The local currency ended at 1,060.70 won against the greenback, holding steady from Thursday's close, amid the continuing streak of a stronger won, dealers said. (Yonhap News)