Shares end higher buoyed by US data, corporate earnings
Korean stocks closed 0.86 percent higher on Wednesday on U.S. economic data and solid earnings by local blue-chip companies, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 17.08 points to close at 1,999.07, rising for the fourth consecutive session. Trading volume was heavy at 639 million shares worth 6.21 trillion won ($5.50 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 529 to 320.
"The overnight rally in Wall Street exerted positive influence on the local bourse, yet lingering concerns over eurozone woes limited gains," said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities.
The KOSPI tends to track the large U.S. stock market and other overseas developments.
"Good earnings by SKorean electronics and auto manufacturers in recent days have supported gains," said Han Beom-ho, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.
He, however, said corporate gains have centered on a few companies, while uncertainties like mergers of financial firms could raise overall uncertainties down the line.
Electronics, steel, heavy industry and chemicals led the gain, with many large companies posting gains.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 1.44 percent to close at 1,410,000 won, with Kia Motors, Korea's second-largest carmaker, gaining 0.48 percent to 83,800 won.
State-run power monopoly Korea Electric Power Corp. jumped 3.69 percent to 22,500 won, with top refiner SK Innovation moving up 1.58 percent to 160,500 won.
LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, surged 3.16 percent to 293,500 won, while leading steelmaker POSCO edged up 0.13 percent to 376,000 won.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipmaker, rose 1.77 percent to 288,000 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor, however, lost 0.19 percent to 268,000 won, with Hyundai Mobis, a leading auto parts maker, falling 2.44 percent to 300,000 won.
The local currency finished at 1,127.5 won to the greenback, up 1.9 won from Monday's close and the highest reached in a month, dealers said. The stock and currency markets closed on Tuesday for Labor Day. (Yonhap)