South Korean shares rose for five straight sessions Tuesday as local institutions bought shares ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's first testimony in Congress as head of the Fed.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 8. 76 points, or 0.46 percent, to close at 1,932.06. Trading volume stood at 217.82 million shares worth 3.19 trillion won (2.98 billion U.S. dollars).
After bobbing in and out of the negative territory, the KOSPI managed to end in positive territory as institutional investors purchased stocks on hopes for comments from the U.S. central bank.
Yellen, who was sworn in on Feb. 3 as the Fed Chair to replace Ben Bernanke, will deliver a report on monetary policy and economic outlook Tuesday at the House Financial Services Committee.
Investors refrained from taking aggressive positions to discern any signs about the U.S. central bank's plan on its tapering progress of massive bond purchasing program from the Yellen's testimony.
The Fed scaled back its monthly bond purchases by 10 billion dollars further to 65 billion dollars this month after reducing the same size in the prior month.
Institutional investors bought shares worth 34.5 billion won, offsetting sales by foreign and retail investors worth 7.7 billion won and 33.9 billion won respectively.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 2.7 percent on foreign buying, and LG Chem, Samsung Life Insurance and Shinhan Financial Group ended in positive territory. Top automaker Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors closed bearish. SK Hynix and SK Telecom ended almost unchanged.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,071.1 won against the greenback, up 0.1 won from Monday's close.
Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes closed unchanged at 2.84 percent, but the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds slid 0.02 percentage point to 3.52 percent.