SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- South Korean shares edged up Monday as institutional investors hunted for bargains amid lack of momentum to move the local stock market.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 4. 12 points, or 0.22 percent, to close at 1,884.83. Trading volume stood at 294.13 million shares worth 3.03 trillion won (2.72 billion U.S. dollars).
The KOSPI moved in a narrow range amid lack of momentum before ended in a slightly positive territory caused by bargain-hunting demand from local institutions.
Institutional investors bought shares worth 93.6 billion won, but retail investors sold a net 42.9 billion won worth of shares. Foreigners turned into net sellers in the trading by offloading shares worth 55.3 billion won.
Japan's gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the second quarter, missing market consensus of 3.6 percent. It gave little impact on the domestic stock market as the yen/dollar exchange rate was traded at a stable level of 96 yen.
Large-cap shares ended mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.2 percent, keeping its winning streak for two straight sessions. Top steelmaker POSCO advanced 1.7 percent on upbeat industrial product data in China, and memory chip giant SK Hynix gained 1.3 percent.
Financial shares ended bearish. The nation's biggest life insurer Samsung Life Insurance declined 1.4 percent, and leading banking group KB Financial Group retreated 1.1 percent.
The South Korean currency was quoted at 1,113.7 won against the greenback, down 1.5 won from Friday's close.
Bond prices ended higher. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes lost 0.01 percentage point to 2.90 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds declined 0.04 percentage point to 3.54 percent.