South Korean stocks rose for the fourth straight session Tuesday as investors pinned their hopes on a faster-than-expected global economic recovery, backed by strong US economic data. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 6.25 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 3,127.08 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.26 billion shares worth some 13.5 trillion won ($12.06 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 424 to 412.
Foreigners purchased a net 577.8 billion won for the fourth consecutive session, while institutions offloaded a net 514.5 billion won. Retail investors sold a net 32.4 billion won.
The key index swung between positive and negative terrain early in the session as investors weighed US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's calls overnight for a global minimum corporate tax rate.
The KOSPI, however, turned higher in the afternoon as investor optimism for a global economic recovery ran high on better-than-expected US March jobs data and a massive $2.25 trillion US infrastructure plan unveiled last week.
Analysts also noted that active foreign buying lifted the local index.
"The KOSPI turned to positive terrain as foreigners continued their buying spree of large caps and electronic stocks," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said. "Software stocks, such as Naver, which had limited gains recently, rebounded strongly."
Large caps closed mixed in Seoul.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 0.7 percent to 86,000 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix remained unchanged at 143,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver jumped 3.05 percent to 388,500 won, while rival Kakao surged 8.37 percent to 544,000 won.
Local tech giant LG Electronics, which announced it would exit from the mobile business a day earlier, vaulted 3.56 percent to 160,000 won.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics added 0.53 percent to 754,000 won, while Celltrion slipped 1.46 percent to 303,500 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor slid 1.71 percent to 230,000 won, while leading chemical firm LG Chem shed 0.61 percent to 812,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,119.6 won against the US dollar, up 8.1 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 2.1 basis points to 1.181 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond declined 3.0 basis point to 1.606 percent. (Yonhap)