The Korea Composite Stock Price Index broke the psychologically important 2,050-point barrier in intra-day trading on Monday. It was the first time in eight months.
Foreigners and institutional investors snapped up shares in early morning trade, propelling the KOSPI past 2,050 points at around 1 p.m., but profit-taking by individual investors pushed the down 0.7 percent or 15 points to 2,048.8.
Foreigners bought W174 billion worth of shares and institutional investors W124.2 billion.
Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan's comments pointing to higher dividend payouts and pump-priming measures buoyed investor sentiment.