South Korean shares ended in positive territory for six straight sessions on Tuesday as financial institutions bought stocks for the window-dressing purpose as the year-end draws near.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 4. 7 points, or 0.24 percent, to close at 2,001.59. Trading volume stood at 204.46 million shares worth 3.07 trillion won (2.9 billion U.S. dollars).
Institutional investors bought shares worth 464.3 billion won, keeping their buying streak for 15 straight sessions. Local institutions, which have stock positions on post, usually seek to buy shares by the year-end in a bid to raise the yield of their stock portfolio. The investment yield of stocks is evaluated at the end of the year or the month.
Santa rally in the U.S. stock market helped market sentiment here. The U.S. stocks hit a new record high overnight, with Facebook and Twitter logging the fresh highs.
Retail investors sold a net 385.2 billion won worth of stocks, and foreigners offloaded shares worth 61 billion won. Trading volume was thin as foreign investors left for their year-end vacations.
Large-cap shares ended mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 1.3 percent, and top automaker Hyundai Motor slid 1.1 percent. South Korea's second largest car maker Kia Motors inched down 0.5 percent, and the biggest steel maker POSCO lost less than 1 percent.
The state-run power provider, Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) , rose 1 percent, and leading chemical firm LG Chem added 1.2 percent. The world's largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries gained 2.4 percent, and the nation's No.1 life insurer, Samsung Life Insurance advanced 1.9 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,059.3 won against the greenback, up 1.4 won from Monday's close.
Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes closed unchanged at 2.88 percent, but the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds fell 0.02 percentage point to 3.56 percent.