The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index inched up 3.3 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 2,398.75. Trade volume was low at 240 million shares worth 4.3 trillion won ($3.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 458 to 338.
Foreign investors reversed a two-day selling streak and purchased a net 93.2 billion won worth of shares on the main exchange, while institutional investors offloaded a net 94.1 billion won.
On Friday (local time), US stocks closed higher. The Dow added 0.30 percent to continue an eight-day winning streak and the S&P 500 gained 0.19 percent after better-than-expected US July payrolls report.
"The KOSPI went on an upward momentum as investors engaged in bargain hunting for shares that went bearish last week," said Lee Yeong-gon, a Hana Financial Investment analyst, adding that the sound data, including earnings reports, have pushed up the local market.
Most tech shares ended bearish with top cap Samsung Electronics inching down 0.25 percent after opening higher to end at 2,379,000 won. Its smaller rival LG Electronics lost 0.28 percent to 71,600 won and LG Display, a major flat panel maker, shed 1.97 percent to
37,400 won. SK hynix, a major chipmaker, meanwhile, inched up 0.16 percent to 64,100 won.
Auto shares closed lower, with leading automaker Hyundai Motor losing 1.33 percent to 148,000 won and its sister company, Kia Motors, shedding 1.46 percent to 37,050 won. Hyundai Mobis decreased 0.59 percent to 253,500 won.
Leading game publisher NCsoft inched up 0.19 percent to close at 384,000 won despite the announcement of weak earnings for the second quarter, apparently due to the huge popularity of its mobile game, Lineage M. The company earlier said its net profit for the April-June period came to 30.8 billion won, down 65.91 percent from the previous year. Shares of its rival Netmarble Games also moved up 3.07 percent to end at 134,500 won after hitting a record low at the previous session.
The local currency closed at 1,127.1 won against the US dollar, down 2.1 won from Friday's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 3 basis points to 1.772 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year debts moved up 2.9 basis points to 1.978 percent. (Yonhap)