South Korean shares extended their winning streak to a fourth day to end at a fresh record high Wednesday, taking a cue from overnight gains on Wall Street, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index added 5.66 points, or 0.24 percent, to reach an all-time high of 2,317.34. Trade volume was slim at 380.45 million shares worth 5.35 trillion won ($4.8 billion), with advancers outnumbering losers 483 to 323.
Institutions bought a net 75.1 billion won worth of stocks, while foreigners and individuals were net sellers by offloading 83.3 billion won and 36.2 billion won, respectively.
On Tuesday (local time), US stocks extended gains as investors kept an eye on President Donald Trump's first full budget plan. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.48 percent, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index adding 0.18 percent.
"The global stock market stayed in positive terrain despite the terrorist attack in Britain. The local stock market continued to move upward on renewed hope for the new government's policies,"
said Kim Yong-koo, a researcher at Hana Investment & Securities.
Analysts forecast the KOSPI to keep an upward momentum but will stay in tight range as investors may stay cautious ahead of major events, such as the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting.
Most large-cap stocks were mixed across the board, with bio and telecom shares leading the gain.
Top cap Samsung Electronics ended at 2,244,000 won, down 0.09 percent from the previous session's close, as investors tried to cash in recent gains. Global chipmaker SK hynix also rose 1.27 percent to 55,800 won.
Samsung's smaller local rival LG Electronics, meanwhile, gained 1.48 percent to 82,300 won to hit a fresh record high.
Mobile carriers also closed higher, with No. 1 player SK Telecom adding 2.44 percent to 252,000 won and the second-largest KT inching up 0.85 percent to 31,800 won. LG Uplus, the smallest in the country, moved up 2.36 percent to 15,150 won.
Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group., gained 2.04 percent to 200,000 won.
Auto shares closed in negative terrain, with leading automaker Hyundai Motor shedding 3.53 percent to 164,000 won. Its sister company, Kia Motors, was down 0.51 percent at 39,000 won, and Hyundai Mobis, the largest auto parts maker, lost 0.71 percent to 278,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,126.80 won against the US dollar, down 2.60 won from Tuesday's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 1.5 basis points to 1.691 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds jumped 2.2 basis points to 1.912 percent. (Yonhap)