South Korean stocks closed 0.25 percent higher Tuesday on foreign buying, but the upward momentum was weak due to investors’ caution ahead of corporate earnings results, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.
After trading in a tight range, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 5 points to 2,004.22. Trading volume was light at 202.5 million shares worth 3.02 trillion won ($2.91 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 414 to 366.
“Trading volume was small as investors were awaiting the earnings results this week,” said Bae Sung-young, an analyst at Hyundai Securities Co.
Foreign investors snapped up a net 97.2 billion won worth of local stocks on the main bourse. But trading volume remained thin as investor sentiment was fragile due to expectations of lackluster first-quarter corporate earnings results.
Major earnings announcements are scheduled for this week.
Flat-panel giant LG Display will release its results on Wednesday, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor and chip giant SK hynix plan to announce their bottom lines on Thursday.
SK hynix rose 1.02 percent to 39,800 won, and LG Display climbed 1.92 percent to 29,200 won.
No. 2 mobile carrier KT Corp. advanced 1.59 percent to 31,900 won on expectations that its voluntary retirement program may ease financial burdens on the company.
But No. 3 banking group Hana Financial Group declined 0.79 percent to 37,750 won as the head of its banking unit was pressed by the financial watchdog to resign due to suspected wrongdoings.
Market leader Samsung Electronics shed 0.36 percent to 1,375,000 won, and top shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries fell 0.48 percent to 208,500 won.
The local currency ended at 1,037.70 won to the greenback, up 1.3 won from Monday’s close as foreigners bought stocks, dealers said. (Yonhap)