South Korean shares ended slightly higher Tuesday, keeping an upward trend for three sessions in a row, as foreigners increased the volume of purchase in the last minutes of trading.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched up 1.67 points, or 0.08 percent, to 1,980.21 at the close. Trading volume stood at 279.2 million shares worth 6.02 trillion won (5.42 billion U.S. dollars).
The KOSPI swung between gains and losses as investors took a wait-and-see stance ahead of the announcement of the third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data in the United States.
Cautiousness emerged as local stocks made a strong rebound in the past two sessions after rate cut in China and expectations for further monetary easing in Europe.
The KOSPI managed to end in a positive territory as foreigners raised stock purchases in the last minutes. Foreign investors increased stock holdings by 180.7 billion won, keeping a buying trend for six straight sessions.
Local financial institutions bought shares worth 93.7 billion won, extending their buying streak to eight days, but retail investors sold a net 272.1 billion won worth of shares.
Trading volume fell below 300 million shares Tuesday due to stronger wait-and-see positions.
Large-cap shares ended mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 2.5 percent, and top steelmaker POSCO slipped 2.7 percent. The biggest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis lost 0.4 percent, but the No.1 carmaker Hyundai Motor gained 1.5 percent. The state-run power supplier Korea Electric Power Corp. advanced 2. 6 percent, and top life insurer Samsung Life Insurance climbed 3.8 percent.
The South Korean currency closed at 1,109.1 won against the greenback, up 3.2 won from Monday's close.
Bond prices ended higher. Yields on the liquid three-year treasury notes slid 1.6 basis points to 2.105, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds declined 2.8 basis points to 2.654 percent.