South Korean stocks closed higher Wednesday as investors scooped up large-cap tech shares following overnight gains on Wall Street, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 9.81 points, or 0.39 percent, to 2,540.51. Trade volume was slim at 254 million shares worth 4.7 trillion won ($4.2 billion), with losers outnumbering advancers 475 to 341.
The broad index opened higher taking a cue from overnight gains on Wall Street. On Tuesday (local time), US stocks moved up on upbeat earnings reports. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.69 percent, and the S&P gained 0.65 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index also increased 1.06 percent.
"U.S stocks closed higher on the back of upbeat earnings and expectations of a tax cut under President Donald Trump, leading to the rise of the local market," Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said.
Most large-cap stocks had a mixed day of trading, with tech shares leading the gains.
Top cap Samsung Electronics ended at 2,798,000 won, up 1.23 percent from the previous session's close to continue a two-day winning streak. Its smaller rival LG Electronics added 3.23 percent to 95,900 won. Chipmaker SK hynix also increased 2.12 percent to 86,800 won.
In contrast, auto stocks closed bearish, with leading automaker Hyundai Motor losing 1.27 percent to 155,000 won, and its sister company, Kia Motors, moving down 1.49 percent to 33,150 won.
Shares of pharmaceutical companies lost ground, with Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, losing 2.17 percent to end at 383,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,089.1 won against the US dollar, up 6.7 won from Tuesday's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys gained 1.4 point to 2.170 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds was up 0.7 basis point to 2.362 percent. (Yonhap)