However, if the data excludes Samsung Electronics, the figures significantly slid. The combined operating profit of the 640 companies edged up 1 percent on-year, while net profit shrank 6.6 percent.
Samsung Electronics’ market cap in the first half dropped 9.2 percent, while the Kospi retreated 5.7 percent.
Samsung Electronics is widely regarded as the Kospi bellwether, as its market cap accounts for 19.6 percent of its value as of Thursday. The market cap of Kospi stood at 1,448.2 trillion won ($1.3 trillion).
KRX data also indicated a decline in earnings of listed companies in the second quarter. Compared to the first quarter, second-quarter operating profit of the 641 Kospi-listed companies including Samsung Electronics decreased 7.7 percent, while net profit plunged 22.2 percent.
The KRX excluded 109 public companies trading on Kospi, including financial institutions, companies not eligible for financial audit and companies merged with or acquired by other companies in the first half.
Meanwhile, the market fell back to bear market territory Thursday, hitting another 15-month low amid uncertainties in emerging markets.
The top-tier Kospi was 0.8 percent lower from Tuesday to close at 2,240.8 on Thursday. Markets were closed Wednesday for a national holiday. The index not only set the lowest mark of 2018, but also was the lowest since May 2, 2017, when the closing mark came to 2,219.67.
By Son Ji-hyoung