South Korean stocks closed higher Tuesday as institutional buyers scooped up shares, taking a cue from overnight Wall Street gains, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index advanced 6.39 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 2,365.47. Trade volume was moderate at 328 million shares worth 4.9 trillion won ($4.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 455 to 334.
The local stock market opened higher as market sentiment was boosted by overnight US gains, but the increase was limited as foreigners offloaded shares in a move to cash in recent gains, according to market watchers.
"The overnight US gains on tech and bank shares had a positive impact on the local stock market," said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co. "Yet, a profit-taking stance among foreign investors kept the index from further going up."
Institutions and individual investors purchased a net 133.9 billion won and 4.5 billion won worth of KOSPI shares, respectively, while foreign investors offloaded a net 183 billion won.
Market heavyweights traded mixed with top cap Samsung Electronics losing 0.4 percent to end at 2,480,000 won as Apple was set to disclose its 10th-anniversary iPhone models.
SK hynix, a major chipmaker, jumped 1.22 percent to 74,700 won.
Banking shares remained in positive terrain, with leading Shinhan Financial moving up 0.41 percent to close at 48,950 won and Samsung Life Insurance rising 0.43 percent to 115,500 won.
Hyundai Motor, the country's No. 1 carmaker, climbed 0.74 percent to end at 136,000 won, while its smaller affiliate Kia Motors shed 2.04 percent to 31,150 won.
The local currency closed at 1,128.50 won against the US dollar, up 3.40 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys shed 0.4 basis point at 1.753 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds added
0.1 basis point to 1.955 percent. (Yonhap)