South Korean shares rose for two straight days on Friday as export shares rebounded on comments by Vice Finance Minister Joo Hyung-hwan to take steps to tackle the sharp fall in the Japanese yen.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 3. 39 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 1,939.87. Trading volume stood at 250.6 million shares worth 3.57 trillion won (3.27 billion U.S. dollars).
Joo told lawmakers Thursday that the finance ministry has been on works to make the Japanese yen the South Korean won move in tandem, indicating steps to be taken to reduce a negative effect of the weaker yen.
After the Bank of Japan (BOJ)'s surprise monetary expansion last week, the yen/dollar exchange rate continued to rise to the level of 115 yen per dollar, the highest in seven years.
The sharper fall in the yen fueled worries about falling export profit and slower growth of the export-driven South Korean economy.
The vice minister's comments dragged down the South Korean currency to the dollar. The won finished at 1,093.7 won versus the greenback, down 9.9 won from Thursday's close.
European Central Bank (ECB) froze its benchmark interest rate at 0.05 percent, heralding an expansion in its asset-buying program. It boosted shares in Europe and the United States overnight, bolstering up investors' sentiment in the local stock market.
Institutional investors led the market rebound by purchasing shares worth 45.5 billion won, but foreigners sold a net 102.7 billion won worth of shares, keeping a selling trend for five days in a row.
Auto shares gained ground. Top automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 2.2 percent, and its affiliate Kia Motors rose 1.5 percent. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.2 percent, and the biggest steelmaker POSCO gained 0.5 percent.
Bond prices ended lower. Yields on the liquid three-year treasury notes rose 0.9 basis points to 2.090 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds added 2.8 basis points to 2.670 percent.