The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) figures are displayed at a dealing room of a local bank in Seoul, Monday. (Yonhap)
South Korean stocks closed at an all-time high Monday as investors expect the US Federal Reserve to reiterate its support for accommodative policies in this week's monetary policy meeting. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kopsi) rose 2.81 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 3,252.13 points, marking the highest closing ever.
Trading volume was moderate at about 1.6 billion shares worth some 15 trillion won ($13.4 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 443 to 406.
Foreigners sold a net 25 billion won and institutions offloaded a net 333 billion won, while retail investors bought 354 billion won.
The Kospi gained for a third straight session amid optimism that the US price surge in May was likely a temporary phase, short of prompting the Fed to consider tapering its asset-buying programs.
Stocks traded in a tight range the entire session as investors are holding on to their cash, seeking more hints over potential tapering in the world's largest economy. The China and Hong Kong stock markets are closed for holidays.
"Investors held on to their wait-and-see mode ahead of the FOMC meeting, keeping the stock index nearly unchanged," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics retreated 0.62 percent to 80,500 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.78 percent to 127,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver advanced 3.89 percent to 387,000 won, and giant pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics increased 0.95 percent to 853,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor edged down 0.21 percent to 238,000 won, and leading chemical firm LG Chem decreased 2.71 percent to 827,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,116.7 won against the US dollar, down 5.9 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)