South Korean shares ended in positive territory on Monday as institutional investors bought more shares than sold in a bid to hunt for bargains. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 7. 63 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 1,927.53. Trading volume stood at 212.15 million shares worth 3.26 trillion won (3.05 billion U.S. dollars). Local institutions purchased a net 171.3 billion won worth of stocks to hunt for bargains as the KOSPI fell sharply last week amid uncertainties over the Ukraine crisis. Retail investors bought shares worth 28.1 billion won, but foreigners kept their selling spree for the sixth straight session by offloading a net 229.2 billion won worth of local stocks. The republic of Crimea became independent from Ukraine as a whopping 96.77 percent of Crimean voters chose to join Russia in Sunday's referendum on the status of Ukraine's autonomous republic. Market watchers said that the KOSPI's rise can be seen as a technical rebound, cautioning that concerns remained over major economies, including the United States and China, and over the Ukraine situation. Among large-cap stocks, gainers outnumbered decliners. Top automaker Hyundai Motor climbed 2.2 percent, and its affiliate Kia Motors advanced 3.1 percent. The nation's No.1 life insurer Samsung Life Insurance rose 2 percent, but memory chip giant SK Hynix declined 3.3 percent. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics slid 0.7 percent, and the nation's biggest web search engine NAVER lost 1.1 percent. The South Korean currency finished at 1,067.4 won against the greenback, up 5.4 won from Friday's close. Bond prices ended lower. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes rose 0.02 percentage points to 2.84 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds climbed 0.04 percentage point to 3.51 percent.