Seoul shares ended higher on Wednesday as investors remain cautious about surging inflation and a global economic slowdown. The South Korean won rose against the US dollar.
After choppy trading, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 11.35 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,617.22.
Trading volume was light at 698.94 million shares worth 8.2 trillion won ($6.5 billion), with gainers outpacing decliners 485 to 360.
Institutions bought a net 507 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting foreigners and individuals' stock selling valued at 518 billion won.
Investors remain jittery over the impact of the Fed's additional rate hikes, the Russia-Ukraine war and China's COVID-19 lockdown on the global economy, analysts said.
"They also await a cue from the Fed minutes to be released on Wednesday (US time) about the US central bank's future rate decisions," Yoo Myeong-gan, an analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo, said.
Technology stocks declined in line with overnight losses on the tech-focused Nasdaq market, which kept the KOSPI from rising further.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent to 31,928.62, but the Nasdaq index fell 2.4 percent to 11,264.45.
In Seoul, bio and chemical stocks advanced, while techs and autos finished in negative terrain.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.2 percent to 66,400 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 0.5 percent to 108,000 won, and top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. shed 0.8 percent to 183,500 won
Among gainers, the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. rose 0.4 percent to 23,600 won, the state-owned Korea Gas Corp. climbed 0.7 percent to 42,450 won, and leading refiner SK Innovation Co. gained 1.2 percent to 205,000 won.
The local currency ended at 1,264.60 won against the US dollar, up 1.60 won from Tuesday's close. (Yonhap)