South Korean shares rose for four straight sessions on Tuesday as hopes lasted for the positive effect from a substantive conclusion with China for the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 4. 77 points, or 0.24 percent, to close at 1,963.00. Trading volume stood at 308.29 million shares worth 4.41 trillion won (4.04 billion U.S. dollars).
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye declared on Monday that the FTA talks, which had lasted since May 2012, reached the substantive conclusion.
With Xi and Park observing, the trade ministers of the two countries signed a protocol in Beijing, as South Korea hopes to complete the deal by encourage its parliament to ratify the trade accord by the second half of 2015.
The trade agreement boosted expectations for growth in South Korea's exports to the world's largest consumer market. According to the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)'s estimates, the FTA deal would lift South Korea's real gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.92 percentage points to 1.25 percentage points over the next five years after the deal comes into force.
Foreigners raised stock holdings by 108.4 billion won, but institutional and retail investors sold stocks worth 40.4 billion won and 129.4 billion won respectively.
Large-cap shares ended mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics retreated 2.9 percent as tariffs on display panels will began to be reduced in 10 years after the China-South Korea FTA deal takes effect.
The biggest steelmaker POSCO declined 3.2 percent on concerns that the trade agreement with China would raise South Korea's import of cheap steel products produced in China.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors advanced 5.7 percent and two percent respectively after the country's largest auto-making group announced a plan to buy back its own shares and increase dividends.
Leading cosmetics maker Amore Pacific surged 9.3 percent on expectations for benefit from the FTA deal as the company depends heavily on China sales for its revenue.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,091.6 won against the greenback, down 6.6 won from Monday's close.
Bond prices ended lower. Yields on the liquid three-year treasury notes rose 5.8 basis points to 2.176 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds added 4.8 basis points to 2.369 percent.