South Korean stocks closed higher on Monday as individual and institutional buyers scooped up big cap stocks offseting a selling spree by foreigners amid uncertainties at both home and abroad, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index advanced 4.63 points, or 0.20 percent, to close at 2,290.65. Trade volume was moderate at 248 million shares worth 4.58 trillion won ($4.07 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 406 to 393.
Foreign investors offloaded a net 97.04 billion won worth of local stocks, while institutions and individuals were net buyers by snatching up 25.3 billion won and 34.9 billion won, respectively.
"The local stock market is forecast to keep an upward momentum backed by sound corporate earnings and hopes for the new government's policies," said Lee Yeong-gon, a Hana Financial Investment analyst, adding that the KOSPI may even breach the 2,600-mark.
Most large caps closed mixed.
Top cap Samsung Electronics gained 0.61 percent to 2,305,000 won and SK hynix, a major chipmaker, also added 0.54 percent to 55,600 won.
Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, lost 1.06 percent to end at 839,000 won.
Samsung Life Insurance, the top life insurer here, climbed 4.24 percent to 123,000 won as gains from its equity ties with Samsung Electronics were revaluated and the insurance firm reported market forecast-beating earnings for the first quarter.
Auto shares closed mixed with leading automaker Hyundai Motor losing 0.65 percent to 154,000 won. Its sister company, Kia Motors, gained 0.82 percent to 36,800 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis remained unchanged.
The local currency closed at 1,123.60 won against the US dollar, up 3.80 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys remained unchanged at 1.710 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 0.4 basis point to 1.939 percent. (Yonhap)