South Korean shares ended in positive territory for two straight days on Wednesday as foreigners bought stocks encouraged by the three-year economic innovation plan to lift growth potential.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 5. 91 points, or 0.3 percent, to trade at 1,970.77. Trading volume stood at 204.84 million shares worth 3.79 trillion won (3.56 billion U.S. dollars).
The three-year economic blueprint, unveiled Tuesday by President Park Geun-hye in a televised press conference, boosted sentiment among foreign investors.
Foreigners bought a net 44.6 billion won worth of local stocks, keeping their buying trend for four straight days. Retail investors sold shares worth 164.2 billion won, but institutional investors bought stocks worth 122.1 billion won.
Park pledged to lift the country's potential growth rate to the 4 percent level by 2017 and per-capita national income to 40, 000 dollars through the three-year economic innovation plan.
Under the plan, abnormal business practices between big and small companies and massive debts of public firms will be eliminated or reduced over the next three years, while promising service industries will be fostered to pull down heavy dependence on big exporters.
The so-called creative economy, advocated by Park at the very beginning of her presidency, will be pushed ahead by converging high-tech technologies into existing cash-cow industries to make local companies escape from the current fast-follower strategy and be rebrand as a global innovator.
Among large-cap shares, gainers outnumbered decliners. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.6 percent, and memory chip giant SK Hynix gained 1.6 percent. Top automaker Hyundai Motor added 1.5 percent, and top web search engine operator NAVER jumped 3.4 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,065.4 won against the greenback, up 7.5 won from Tuesday's close.
Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes fell 0.01 percentage point to 2.85 percent, but the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds rose 0.02 percentage point to 3.51 percent.