Korean stocks closed 1.13 percent higher on Wednesday as shares of blue-chip technology companies rose on the back of foreign buying and market rumors, analysts said. The local currency gathered ground against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) climbed 22.68 points to 2,025.32. Trading volume was moderate at 675.6 million shares worth 7.6 trillion won ($6.8 billion), with gainers outnumbering decliners 445 to 374.
"The market performed as usual, but steep rises in shares of Samsung Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor served as upward momentum," said Han Chi-hwan, an analyst at Daewoo Securities Co.
Han said eurozone situations are likely to show little change for the time being, adding investors should track foreign investment and moves of different sectors.
Foreign investors snapped up a net 242.1 billion won worth of stocks, extending their buying spree to an eighth session.
Samsung Electronics soared 5.09 percent to a record 1,135,000 won amid market rumors of a possible business spin-off. Reports said the company may spin-off its liquid-crystal display (LCD) division and merge with Samsung Mobile Display, its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display unit.
In a regulatory filing, Samsung Electronics said it is considering the spin-off, but added no details have been confirmed.
"We believe combining the LCD and OLED businesses and spinning off the display unit would have a positive impact as Samsung would be able to bolster the potential of the OLED business by redirecting capacity, personnel and other resources from the LCD business," Seo Won, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities Co., said in a report.
Hynix Semiconductor jumped 5.26 percent to 29,000 won after being bought by SK Telecom. SK Telecom, the country's leading mobile carrier ended at 139,000 won, up 1.09 percent.
In contrast, LG Display fell 1.51 percent to 29,300 won on concerns Samsung's spin-off may weaken its market position.
Top polysilicon maker OCI slumped 5.97 percent to 283,500 won following its recent sharp gain and worries over Germany's possible subsidy cut for the solar industry.
The local currency closed at 1,121.5 won against the greenback, up 2.4 won from Tuesday's close on the back of KOSPI's rise and easing fears over the eurozone debt crisis, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed slightly lower. The yield on three-year Treasuries added 0.02 percentage point to 3.46 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds rose 0.01 percentage point to 3.58 percent.(Yonhap)