South Korean stocks slightly rose Friday as institutions scooped up local shares to offset a selloff by foreigners who remained jittery about global growth, analysts said. The South Korean won firmed against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 1.37 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,061.49. Trading volume was slim at 304.92 million shares worth 5.38 trillion won ($4.79 billion), with losers outnumbering winners 445 to 381.
The index was in negative territory on continued concerns over global economic growth, but rebounded in the last minutes of trading on institutional buying.
"Worries over slowing global economic growth continue to weigh on investor sentiment amid uncertainties surrounding the US government shutdown," Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities, said. "The local market lacks growth momentum in the short term as investors remain more on guard than expected."
Institutions bought a net 495.47 billion won worth of stocks to prop up the index, while foreigners and retailers dumped a net 226.08 billion won and 252.69 billion worth of stocks, respectively.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics was steady at 38,650 won after hitting a yearly low, while chipmaker SK hynix gained 2.39 percent to 220,000 won.
Construction shares were down.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction sank 3 percent to 54,900 won, and GS Engineering & Construction skidded 2.58 percent to45,250 won.
In contrast, chemical firms advanced on upbeat prospects for the rechargeable battery market.
LG Chem, the nation's largest chemical firm, rose a solid 4.22 percent to 358,500 won, and Samsung SDI, Samsung's battery-making unit, jumped 5.24 percent to 221,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,122.4 won against the US dollar, up 5.4 won from Thursday's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, fell sharply. The yield on three-year Treasurys gained 3.8 points to 1.838 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds increased 5.1 basis points to 1.893 percent. (Yonhap)