South Korean shares rose on Monday as upbeat manufacturing data from China, the country's largest trading partner, boosted optimism over export growth.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 6. 85 points, or 0.35 percent, to close at 1,974.92. Trading volume stood at 221.38 million shares worth 3.28 trillion won (3.22 billion U.S. dollars).
The preliminary Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for manufacturers in China stood at 50.8 in June, rising above the benchmark 50 for the first time in six months, according to HSBC. The figure above 50 indicates an expansion in manufacturing activities.
The upbeat data bolstered expectations for solid growth of the world's No. 2 economy, bringing a rise to Asian stocks, including the local stock market, market watchers said.
Foreign and institutional investors purchased stocks worth 4.8 billion won and 142.6 billion won respectively, but retail investors offloaded shares worth 127.4 billion won.
Samsung Electronics advanced 1.6 percent, the first rebound in five sessions, as some investors viewed the recent fall as excessive. The shares, which account for nearly 30 percent of the total market capitalization, slid sharply on the back of growing pessimism for the second-quarter earnings caused by lackluster smartphone sales.
The country's No. 1 web search engine Naver surged some 5 percent as expectations for growth emerged after launching its global service.
Builders gained ground on expectations for a turnaround in earnings in the second half. The No. 1 builder Hyundai Engineering & Construction (E&C) climbed 1 percent, and its smaller rival Daewoo E&C rose nearly 2 percent.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,018.5 won against the greenback, up 2.1 won from Friday's close.
Bond prices ended lower. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes added 0.03 percentage point to 2.69 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds finished rose 0.03 percentage point to 3.24 percent.