South Korean stocks rose to a fresh all-time high Tuesday as market cap Samsung Electronics shot up on earnings hopes, market analysts said. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 4.32 points, or 0.17 percent, to close at 2,484.37, after rising to as much as 2,487.88 at one point.
Trade volume was moderate at 193 million shares worth 5.24 trillion won ($4.62 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 403 to 384.
The local stock market opened higher as top market cap Samsung Electronics continued to rise on third-quarter earnings hopes, but some major stocks suffered a decline on profit-taking.
"Investors are being pressed to cash in recent gains down the road," said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. "The market may face a short correction due to the lingering North Korean issue."
Samsung Electronics, the top market cap here, rose 1.63 percent to end at a fresh record high of 2,740,000 won. At one point, it rose to as high as 2,769,000 won per share.
The tech giant said last week that its third-quarter operating profit is expected to have nearly tripled, apparently on sound returns from its computer chip business.
Operating profit was estimated at 14.5 trillion won, compared with 5.2 trillion won a year earlier, and sales also probably surged 29.65 percent to 62 trillion won in the July-September period compared to the previous year.
SK hynix, a major chipmaker, was down 0.83 percent at 83,500 won as investors continued to lock in recent gains.
SK Telecom, the leading mobile carrier, fell 1.1 percent to finish at 268,100 won.
POSCO, the country's top steelmaker, dropped 2.47 percent to end at 335,500 won after surging almost 6 percent the previous session on hopes for improved earnings.
AmorePacific, the No.1 cosmetics maker, advanced 0.53 percent to end at 286,500 won, with an easing of investors' concerns over its slump in China amid Beijing's retaliation against the deployment of a US advanced missile shield system in South Korea.
Hyundai Motor, South Korea's largest automaker, lost 2.29 percent at 149,500 won, and Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, added 0.79 percent to end at 768,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,132.50 won against the US dollar, down 4.7 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 2 basis points to 1.947 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 1.6 basis points to 2.146 percent. (Yonhap)