South Korean shares managed to end in positive territory, after bobbing in and out of negative terrain, Friday as foreigners continued to buy local stocks amid hopes for global recovery.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 3. 03 points, or 0.15 percent, to close at 1,981.00. Trading volume stood at 241.71 million shares worth 3.39 trillion won (3.17 billion U.S. dollars).
The main index rose for the third straight day as foreign investors were net buyers over the past three days amid expectations for the global recovery.
Concerns remained over the Ukraine crisis, but market watchers said foreign purchases came from a view that the Russian economy is not big enough to change the course of the global recovery.
Positive sentiment was prevalent among investors over employment and manufacturing data in the United States set to be released next week.
Foreign investors bought a net 226.8 billion won worth of local stocks after snapping up shares worth more than 200 billion won the previous day. Retail and institutional investors offloaded stocks 169.9 worth billion won and 63.1 billion won respectively in a bid to lock in profits.
Top three large-cap shares gained ground. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics inched up 0.1 percent, and top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 0.8 percent. The nation's biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis added 0.3 percent.
The nation's No.1 web search engine NAVER advanced 0.9 percent, but memory chip giant SK Hynix dipped 1.7 percent. Top steelmaker POSCO sank 3 percent, and the nation's biggest life insurer Samsung Life Insurance slid 1.5 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,069.3 won against the greenback, up 2.2 won from Thursday's close.
Bond prices ended higher. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes lost 0.01 percentage point to 2.86 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds fell 0.02 percentage point to 3.51 percent.