South Korean stocks extended their winning streak to a seventh session on Thursday, largely on anticipation of slower inflation in the United States. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index closed up 5.57 points, or 0.24 percent, at 2,365.1 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 570 million shares worth some 7.7 trillion won ($6.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 494 to 365.
Foreigners bought a net 484 billion won, while institutions sold 437 billion won and retail investors offloaded 49 billion won.
Stocks came off to a solid start, taking a cue from overnight Wall Street gains.
Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite added 1.76 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.8 percent amid expectations that slower growth in the December consumer price index, a key gauge for inflation, could prod the US Federal Reserve to go easy on its aggressive policy tightening.
"The US stock advance stemming from optimism on the US CPI had a positive impact on the local stocks. Despite the uncertainties, investors are expecting that inflation is slowing down," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.
Most sectors advanced in Seoul, while chipmakers performed weak.
Top cap Samsung Electronics traded unchanged at 60,500 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 0.57 percent to 86,800 won.
Leading car battery maker LG Energy Solution rose 0.74 percent to 478,000 won, and the country's largest carmaker Hyundai Motor increased 1.52 percent. Bio heavyweight Samsung Biologics gained 1 percent to 811,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,245.8 won against the US dollar, up 0.4 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)