South Korean shares ended in positive territory Tuesday as foreigners returned to the local stock market in nine trading days amid growing demand for shares of Samsung Group, the country's biggest conglomerate.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) advanced 17.99 points, or 0.92 percent, to close at 1,982.93. Trading volume stood at 238.32 million shares worth 3.7 trillion won (3.62 billion U.S. dollars). The KOSPI ended bullish for the fourth consecutive session.
Samsung shares showed an upward trend this week on expectations that the ownership transfer of Samsung Group from the chairman to his children will gain speed after Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Kun-hee, the de facto chief of the group, was admitted to a hospital Saturday night for a myocardial infarction.
Samsung SDS, the group's information technology unit, said Thursday it will go public by the end of this year, helping Lee's three children secure funds necessary to take control of the group 's affiliates.
Samsung Electronics, the group's flagship unit, climbed 0.9 percent to close at 1.4 million won. The nation's No.1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis rose 1.2 percent, and top web search engine NAVER jumped 4.2 percent.
Foreigners resumed their betting on the local stock market by purchasing a net 215.4 billion won worth of shares. Foreign investors turned into net buyers for the first time in nine sessions.
Institutional investors bought stocks worth 125.3 billion won, but retail investors dumped a net 348.3 billion won worth of shares.
Leading chemical firm LG Chem gained 2.2 percent, but top wireless carrier SK Telecom declined 1.6 percent. The state-run power supplier Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) slid 0.5 percent, but the world's largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries climbed 2.2 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,022.1 won against the greenback, up 2.3 won from Monday's close.
Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes added 0.01 percentage point to 2.85 percent, but the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds closed steady at 3.44 percent.