South Korean stocks closed higher for the third straight trading day Monday as institutions and foreign investors shored tech, bio and other blue chips. The Korean won rose against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 22.09 points, or 0.89 percent, to close at 2,500.65, extending its winning streak to a third day.
Trade volume was moderate at 421.5 million shares worth 8.85 trillion won ($6.62 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 523 to 361.
Institutions and foreigners bought a combined 769 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' stock selling valued at 728 billion won.
"Local shares seem to have been buoyed by gains made by market heavyweights amid a lack of particular upward momentum leads during the session," Yang Hae-jung, an analyst at DS Investment & Securities, said.
Kim Seok-hwan, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities, expected the investors to engage in a wait-and-see mode in the coming days ahead of the US Federal Open Market Committee scheduled to be held this week.
Most blue chips ended in positive terrain, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics rising 1.36 percent to 74,400 won and consumer electronics rival LG Electronics inching up 0.86 percent to 94,300 won.
Bio shares gained ground as investors anticipated gains from recent legislative moves in the United States Congress to effectively ban Chinese genomics company from doing business in the US.
Samsung Biologics climbed 3.49 percent to 800,000 won, and SK Biopharmaceuticals soared 6.70 percent to 93,900 won.
Auto and energy stocks advanced as well. Hyundai Motor and Kia rose 4.43 percent and 5.83 percent to 195,600 won and 99,900 won, respectively, and leading refiner SK Innovation added 3.89 percent to end at 120,300 won.
Gaming stocks also ended higher after Krafton, the gaming giant behind "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds," announced better-than-expected estimated fourth quarter earnings last week.
The company's shares rose 0.95 percent to 212,500 won, and Netmarble surged 4.49 percent to 59,200 won.
The local currency ended at 1,335.70 won against the greenback, up 0.6 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)