South Korean shares managed to end higher on Monday, trimming its earlier losses, as record-breaking foreign purchases of local stocks offset sales by local institutions seeking to lock in recent profits.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched up 0.61 points, or 0.03 percent, to close at 2,053.1. Trading volume stood at 270.71 million shares worth 4.07 trillion won (3. 83 billion U.S. dollars).
After bobbing in and out of the negative territory, the main stock index ended in positive territory as foreigners kept their buying trend for 37 straight sessions, the longest winning streak since the Korea Exchange complied the data in 1999. Foreign investors bought shares worth around 200 billion won.
Sentiment among foreigners was boosted after the U.S. government ended its 16-day partial shutdown last week. Faster- than-expected economic growth in China, as seen in the third- quarter GDP data, also contributed to the upbeat market confidence, analysts said.
Institutional investors, however, sold a net 196.6 billion won worth of shares as asset managers dumped stocks on orders from their customers who sought to take profits from recent stock gains.
Large-cap shares ended mixed. Top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 1.8 percent, and its affiliate Kia Motors gained more than 1 percent. The nation's biggest steelmaker POSCO inched up 0.3 percent, and top mobile operator SK Telecom advanced 1.3 percent.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics closed in negative terrain, and the country's No. 1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis fell more than 1 percent. Leading chemical firm LG Chem and the world's largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries dropped around 3 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,062.2 won against the greenback, down 1.4 won from Friday'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 0.01 percentage point to 3.45 percent.