The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 9.07 points, or 0.38 percent, to close at 2,370.90. Trade volume was moderate at 288 million shares worth 5.35 trillion won ($4.7 billion), with decliners outnumbering advancers 418 to 388.
Foreigners bought 124.19 billion won worth of stocks, turning net buyers after dumping 163 billion won worth of stocks in the previous session.
But institutions and individuals sold stocks valued at a combined 157.21 billion won, keeping the main index from rising further.
Most large caps advanced across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 2.15 percent to 2,328,000 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix jumped 3.80 percent to 62,800 won. Top carmaker Hyundai Motor climbed 1.21 percent to 167,000 won.
Utility and defensive stocks were among decliners, with state-run electricity provider Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) falling 3.11 percent to 42,050 won and cosmetics giant AmorePacific dropping 3.76 percent to 307,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,132.7 won against the US dollar, up 1.40 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.2 basis points to 1.683 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds shed 1.0 basis point to 1.857 percent. (Yonhap)