South Korean shares ended 1.1 percent higher on Thursday, rallying in three sessions, as investors snapped up stocks on hopes that European leaders would offer measures to solve the region's debt crisis amid worsening conditions there, analysts said.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 20. 6 points, or 1.11 percent, to close at 1,876.67. Trading volume stood at 348.73 million shares worth 4.67 trillion won (4.13 billion U.S. dollars).
The KOSPI started 0.37 percent higher, but turned to negative terrain, falling as much as over 1 percent amid lingering concerns that the European fiscal crisis may spread to other regions such as the United States.
The global credit appraiser Fitch warned overnight that the U.S. banks' financial soundness could deteriorate down the road, boosting worries that the euro-area's crisis would spread to the U.S. financial institutions with exposures to the European sovereign debts.
The key index, however, rebounded in the afternoon as views spread that solutions for the European fiscal crisis would come up faster than expected after the region's debt crisis continued to be worse, analysts said.
"Speculation was raised that solutions for Europe's debt crisis would come out swiftly after the region's situation is becoming worse," Park So-yeon, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities in Seoul, told Xinhua.
Park noted that the recently unveiled economic data from the U. S. shored up expectations that the U.S. economic fundamentals remained solid, saying that higher global oil prices reflected speculation for economic recovery.
Foreign investors bought stock futures after selling them the previous day, but foreigners reduced their holdings of stocks on spots heavily. Offshore investors sold a net 346.1 billion won worth of local shares.
Local institutions led the market rebound, paring their sales volume in the afternoon session. Institutional investors sold a net 1 billion won worth of stocks after dumping more than 200 billion won.
Tech shares gained ground. Memory chipmaker Hynix Semiconductor jumped by 3.8 percent on news that a U.S. jury ruled that the South Korean chipmaker did not engage in antitrust actions to prevent the U.S.-based Rambus from expanding into the semiconductor sector. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0. 51 percent, and flat screen maker LG Display gained 3.12 percent.
Oil refiners ended bullish on rising global oil prices. Top oil refiner SK Innovation added 2.62 percent to 176,500 won, and its smaller rival S-Oil jumped 3.95 percent to 118,500 won.
The local currency finished at 1,130.7 won against the greenback, up 5.9 won from Wednesday's close.
Bond prices ended lower. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes rose 0.03 percentage point to 3.37 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds added 0.02 percentage point to 3.51 percent.