South Korean shares closed in positive territory on Tuesday as foreign investors kept their buying streak despite partial shutdown of the U.S. government caused by failure to agree on the budget plan.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched up 1.91 points or 0.1 percent, to close at 1,998.87. Trading volume stood at 277.79 million shares worth 3.83 trillion won (3. 57 billion U.S. dollars).
U.S. Senate rejected a stopgap funding bill plan passed by the House of Representatives overnight, leading to a partial shutdown of the U.S. government, the first in 17 years.
The International Monetary Fund warned that the shutdown may downgrade the global economic growth by 0.5 percentage point, but the rating appraiser Standard & Poor's said that it would have no big impact on the world economy if the shutdown goes on for a short period of time.
Market watchers said that attentions should be paid to whether the U.S. administration can be normalized rapidly, noting that if the world's largest economy fails to raise the debt ceiling by mid-October, the U.S. could fall into a default.
Foreign investors bought shares worth 149.7 billion won, keeping their winning streak for 25 straight sessions. It was the longest buying streak since 1999 when the Korea Exchange began to compile the related data.
Institutional investors purchased stocks worth 12.1 billion won, the first purchase in 16 sessions, but retail investors sold a net 149.7 billion won worth of shares, limiting the KOSPI's further gain.
Among large-cap shares, gainers outnumbered losers. Top mobile operator SK Telecom advanced 2.5 percent, and the nation's No.1 carmaker Hyundai Motor climbed 1.4 percent. Retailer giant Lotte Shopping rose 1.6 percent, and top life insurer Samsung Life Insurance added 0.5 percent.
The nation's largest steelmaker POSCO declined 2.2 percent, and leading chemical firm LG Chem slid 1.3 percent. Memory chip giant SK Hynix lost 1 percent, and the nation's No.1 crude oil refiner SK Innovation fell 0.3 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,073.5 won against the greenback, up 1.2 won from Monday's close.
Bond prices ended lower. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes added 0.02 percentage point to 2.84 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds rose 0.03 percentage point to 3.45 percent.