South Korean shares showed an upward picture for third straight session on Wednesday as continued foreign purchases of local stocks relieved profit-taking by retail investors.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 7. 93 points, or 0.42 percent, to close at 1,912.08. Trading volume stood at 316.06 million shares worth 3.45 trillion won (3.1 billion U.S. dollars).
Despite the mixed closure of Wall Street overnight, continued stock purchases both by foreign and institutional investors led the market advance.
Overseas investors bought a net 181.1 billion won worth of stocks, maintaining their buying streak for the third consecutive session. Institutional investors helped the local stock market keep its upward momentum, purchasing shares worth 26.7 billion won.
Retail investors alone sold stocks worth 202.5 billion won in a bid to lock in recent profits.
Tech and auto shares led the KOSPI's gain. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics gained 0.6 percent, and top automaker Hyundai Motor rose 0.7 percent. The nation's biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis advanced 1.4 percent, and the No.2 carmaker Kia Motors added 0.2 percent.
LG Electronics climbed 2.3 percent after announcing the better- than-expected earnings for the second quarter. The tech firm's operating profit declined 9 percent from a year earlier to 479.3 billion won (430 million U.S. dollars) in the second quarter, but the figure topped analysts' estimate.
LG's second-quarter revenue jumped 10.1 percent to 15.23 trillion won thanks to robust sales of smartphones that reached 12. 1 million units during the quarter, the highest ever in the company's history.
Top life insurer Samsung Life Insurance declined 0.5 percent, and the nation's biggest wireless carrier SK Telecom slid 0.9 percent. Leading banking group Shinhan Financial Group retreated 0. 5 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,112.7 won against the greenback, up 4.3 won from Tuesday's close.
Bond prices ended lower. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes rose 0.01 percentage point to 2.89 percent, but the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds added 0.02 percentage point to 3.43 percent.