Seoul stocks snapped their four-day losing streak Tuesday amid still persistent woes over aggressive monetary tightening moves in major economies that could lead to a recession. The Korean won sharply rose against the US dollar.
After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 2.92 points, or 0.13 percent, to close at 2,223.86.
Trading volume was moderate at about 478 million shares worth some 7.8 trillion won ($5.5 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 481 to 381.
Institutions bought a net 245 billion won, while foreigners sold 246 billion won and retail investors offloaded 16 billion won.
After opening a tad higher, the key index increasingly lost ground amid foreign sell-offs, dipping below the 2,200-point level for the first time in over two years.
But investors bought some oversold shares ahead of the market closing, helping the index stay in positive terrain.
Investors' appetite for risky assets still remained subdued as aggressive monetary tightening moves in major economies stoked concerns about a global recession.
Last week, the Fed raised its benchmark interest rates by three-quarters of a point, its third increase in a row, to bring down inflation.
In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 0.56 percent to 54,200 won, and top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 1.92 percent to 186,000 won.
SK hynix, the world's second-largest memory chip maker, lost 0.61 percent to 82,000 won, with battery maker LG Energy Solutions dropping 0.56 percent to 444,000 won. Leading chemical firm LG Chem shed 0.35 percent to 569,000 won.
The Korean won closed at 1,421.5 won against the US dollar, up 9.8 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)