South Korean stocks rebounded on Wednesday from a brief dip in the previous session, as investors brushed off geopolitical woes stemming from North Korea's missile launch, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
After a choppy session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 7.83 points, or 0.33 percent, to close at 2,388.35.
Trade volume was moderate at 329 million shares worth 4.65 trillion won ($4.04 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 420 to 358.
After the market closed on Tuesday, North Korea claimed it had successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The local stock market opened lower, but pared earlier losses on hopes that Samsung and other tech firms may deliver sound second-quarter earnings. Samsung, the world's largest manufacturer of smartphones, is set to release its second-quarter earnings guidance this week.
"Investors seem to be cautious, and geopolitical risks may help increase market volatility," said Lee Kyong-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.
Analysts said the KOSPI has risen for the seventh consecutive month, which means that a profit-taking stance may take hold among investors.
Samsung Electronics, the top market cap here, rose 1.23 percent to end at 2,379,000 won, and SK hynix, a major chipmaker, gained 3.34 percent to 68,000 won. POSCO, the top steelmaker, advanced 1.55 percent to end at 295,500 won, and SK Innovation, the top refiner in the country, closed flat at 160,000 won.
The state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. gained 1.69 percent to finish at 42,000 won.
LG Display, a major flat panel maker, continued to rise ending at 38,900 won, up 1.04 percent from the previous session's close.
In contrast, automakers and chemical firms remained sluggish.
Hyundai Motor, the No. 1 automaker, continued to lose ground falling 1.58 percent to end at 156,000 won amid concerns that its sales in Chin remained in slump over a diplomatic row between Beijing and Seoul over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system.
AmorePacific, the nation's leading cosmetics maker, slumped 2.92 percent to end at 299,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,150.50 won against the US dollar, up 0.1 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)