The Korea Composite Stock Price Index rebounded Tuesday as inter-Korean tensions eased after North Korea did not carry out its threat to respond to South Korean artillery drills on Yeonpyeong Island, closing up 16.81 points or 0.83 percent on Tuesday at 2,037.09.
Foreign and institutional investors were net sellers, but private investors net bought almost W400 billion (US$1=W1,155) worth of stocks. The KOSPI has reached the highest level in three years and one month and is approaching the all-time high of 2,064.85 points set on Oct. 31, 2007.
Leading automotive shares slowed down, while steel and petrochemical stocks, which had been sluggish so far, rose dramatically. Expectations of improved earnings due to rising steel prices drove shares of POSCO, Hyundai Steel and Hyundai Hysco up 5 percent. Petrochemical companies also rose on hopes of improving profits.
Samsung Electronics, the No. 1 company in terms of market capitalization, rose to a new record high of W936,000.
The tech-heavy Kosdaq also closed up 8.72 points (1.75 percent), snapping a five-day losing streak.