SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- South Korean shares rose to the highest in more than two years on Friday as investors' sentiment was boosted following a fiscal deal in Washington to reopen the U. S. government and raise the debt ceiling.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) climbed 11.79 points, or 0.58 percent, to close at 2,052.40, the highest since Aug. 2011. Trading volume stood at 252.61 million shares worth 4.37 trillion won (4.12 billion U.S. dollars).
The U.S. government ended its 16-day partial shutdown after U.S. President Barack Obama signed the fiscal deal, which was passed earlier by the Republicans-led House of Representatives and Democrats-dominated Senate. The bill funds the government through Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling by Feb. 7.
The temporary fiscal deal sowed the seeds for another fiscal fight in the near future, limiting the KOSPI's further gain in the morning session.
The main gauge, however, extended its gains in the afternoon session following faster economic growth of China. The world's No. 2 economy grew 7.8 percent in the third quarter, up from 7.5 percent in the prior quarter.
Foreign investors kept their longest winning trend for 36 straight sessions by purchasing a net 308.2 billion won worth of stocks. Institutional and retail investors sold shares worth 165.6 billion won and 126.8 billion won each.
Large-cap shares ended mixed. Memory chip giant SK Hynix advanced 2.4 percent, and major banking group KB Financial Group climbed 2.5 percent. Among other gainers were market bellwether Samsung Electronics, leading chemical firm LG Chem and top mobile operator SK Telecom.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor declined 3 percent, and its affiliate Kia Motors fell more than 1 percent. The world's largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries slid 2.1 percent. and top crude oil refiner SK Innovation ended bearish.
The South Korean currency finished at 1,060.8 won against the greenback, up 2.9 won from Thursday's close.
Bond prices ended higher. The yield on the liquid three-year treasury notes fell 0.03 percentage point to 2.82 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds lost 0.05 percentage point to 3.44 percent.