South Korean shares extended their winning streak to end at a new record high Friday on the back of improved investors' sentiment on gains from the Wall Street, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 12.37 points, or 0.53 percent, to reach an all-time high of 2,355.30. Trade volume was moderate at 309.17 million shares worth 6.03 trillion won ($5.38 billion), with advancers far outnumbering losers 499 to 307.
It also marks the fifth consecutive session for the index to set a new record, after South Korean shares breached the 2,300-point mark for the first time ever on Monday.
During the trading session Friday, the index even soared to 2,364.80.
Analysts attributed the growth to robust performances made by US retailers, which eased concerns over slowed domestic consumption in the world's top economy.
"The improved consumers' sentiment in South Korea was also positive for the market," said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co.
South Korea's composite consumer sentiment index for May came to 108.0, up from 101.2, a month earlier, according to data from the Bank of Korea. The May figure marked the highest since April 2014, when the index stood at 108.4. A reading above 100 means optimists outnumber pessimists.
Foreigners bought a net 111.5 billion won, while retail investors offloaded a net 260.1 billion won. Institutions scooped up a net 95 billion won.
Tech shares closed mostly higher, with market behemoth Samsung Electronics advancing 0.88 percent to 2,304,000 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix increased 2.33 percent to 57,100 won. LG Display added 4.16 percent to 30,050 won.
Mobile carriers were also winners, with SK Telecom increasing 2 percent to 254,500 won and KT rising 0.46 percent to 32,450 won. LG Uplus also shot up 0.32 percent to 15,700 won.
Brokerage houses closed bullish on the robust market index, with Samsung Securities rising 0.88 percent to 40,200 won and Kiwoom Securities moving up 3.73 percent to 86,100 won.
Carmakers, on the other hand, closed lower, with top player Hyundai Motors falling 0.91 percent to 163,500 won and Kia Motor losing 0.26 percent to 38,850 won. Autoparts maker Hyundai Mobis shed 0.53 percent to 281,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,120.70 won against the greenback, down 4.20 won from Thursday's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.4 basis point to 1.677 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds shed 0.9 basis point to 1.889 percent. (Yonhap)