Seoul shares finished higher for the second straight session Wednesday as investors' anxiety about the global banking system has eased. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index advanced 8.98 points, or 0.37 percent, to close at 2,443.92.
Trading volume was moderate at about 487 million shares worth some 8.6 trillion won ($6.6 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 553 to 305.
Institutions and foreigners bought a net 329 billion won and 62 billion won worth of shares, respectively, while retail investors offloaded 334 billion won.
Overnight, US stocks closed lower as traders shifted their attention back to the concerns of future rate hikes by the Federal Reserve from the global banking woes caused by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
Market jitters were assuaged a bit after First Citizens BancShares Inc. came to the troubled SVB's rescue, and the US regulator vowed backing for the takeover deal.
In Seoul, top-cap shares ended mixed, with autos and battery makers leading the overall market advance.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 0.32 percent to close at 62,700 won, and SK hynix inched down 1.7 percent to 86,900 won. Bio heavyweight Samsung Biologics declined 0.75 percent to 791,000 won.
Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor added 1.86 percent to 180,400 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia jumping 3.38 percent to 79,500 won.
Battery maker LG Energy Solution gained 1.04 percent to 583,000 won, and Samsung SDI inched up 1.8 percent to 735,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,302.7 won against the dollar, down 3.9 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)