South Korean shares rose first in four sessions Tuesday on expectations that economy-related ministries, which will be led by new finance minister, will unveil policies to boost the lackluster economy.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 1. 54 points, or 0.08 percent, to close at 2,006.66. Trading volume stood at 256.43 million shares worth 3.37 trillion won (3.33 billion U.S. dollars).
Choi Kyung-hwan, nominee of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, said at the parliamentary confirmation hearing that he planned to boost the faltering domestic market by easing the housing market regulations such as the loan-to-value (LTV) and debt-to-income (DTI) ratios.
Choi said the economy is now in a bad shape enough to require the supplementary budget plan, heralding new economy-boosting policies, but the extra-budget scheme will not be necessary for the time being as it will lift the tax burden for ordinary people.
The KOSPI's gain, however, was restrained as Samsung Electronics, which makes up nearly 30 percent of the total market capitalization, posted the lowest earnings results in two years.
Samsung's operating profit plunged 24.5 percent from a year earlier to 7.2 trillion won in the second quarter, the lowest since the second quarter of 2012 and missing analysts' estimates of 8.1 trillion won.
Samsung shares rose 0.2 percent as the worse-than-expected earnings for the second quarter were already priced in. Some market watchers forecast the third-quarter earnings of the tech behemoth could rebound on seasonal demand for smartphones, the main booster of the company's revenue.
LG Display, the leading display panel maker, jumped 3.7 percent, but top automaker Hyundai Motor closed steady at 225,500 won. The nation's biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis declined 2.3 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,011.9 won against the greenback, down 1.4 won from Monday's close.
Bond prices ended lower. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes rose 0.035 percentage point to 2.647 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds added 0.032 percentage point to 3.159 percent.