South Korean shares gained for two straight days on Tuesday as foreigners snapped up local stocks on expectations for the second-quarter earnings season.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 23. 8 points, or 1.27 percent, to close at 1,904.15, climbing above the 1,900-point level for the first time in a month. Trading volume stood at 347.58 million shares worth 4.25 trillion won (3.8 billion U.S. dollars).
Offshore investors led the market advance by purchasing shares both on spots and futures. Foreigners bought domestic stocks worth 293.9 billion won, and purchased about 7,000 contracts for the KOSPI200 index futures.
Institutional investors purchased a net 55.4 billion won worth of stocks, but retail investors sold shares worth 330 billion won in a bid to lock in profits.
Expectations for the second-quarter earnings were raised ahead of the announcement of earnings by large firms. Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor and LG Electronics were slated to unveil their earnings results this week.
Large-cap shares ended mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 2.7 percent, and memory chip giant SK Hynix added 0.7 percent. The nation's biggest web portal operator NHN gained 2.2 percent.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor ended steady at 222,000 won, and its affiliate Kia Motors slid 0.3 percent. The nation's No.1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis declined 1.7 percent.
The local currency finished at 1,117.0 won against the greenback, up 1.9 won from Monday's close.
Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes rose 0.03 percentage point to 2.88 percent, but the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds closed flat at 3. 41 percent.