(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)
SEOUL, July 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed higher Wednesday after falling for two previous sessions as investors scooped up undervalued shares, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 6.75 points, or 0.33 percent, to close at 2,058.78. Trading volume was low at 350 million shares worth 3.86 trillion won (US$3.27 billion), with gainers far outpacing losers 537 to 286.
Analysts said Seoul shares gained ground as foreigners hunted for bargains while taking a wait-and-see stance on the hearing of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell slated for this week.
"Recently, the stock market fell excessively, which induced investors to purchased undervalued shares," Lee Young-gon, a researcher from Hana Financial Investment, said.
Foreigners bought a net 201 billion won, while retail investors offloaded a net 200 million won. Institutions bought more shares than they sold at 187 billion won.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics moved up 1 percent to 4,550 won on reports that the company is considering reducing production of NAND flash to improve profitability. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix jumped 4.44 percent to 72,900 won.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction shot up 1.25 percent to 48,450 won after it clinched a 3.2 trillion-won deal to build gas and crude oil-processing facilities in Saudi Arabia.
Chemical shares traded mixed, with LG Chem closing unchanged at 337,500 won, while LG Household & Health Care shed 0.24 percent to 1,216,000 won. Oil refiner S-Oil moved up 2.64 percent to 89,500 won.
Carmakers closed bearish, with No. 1 Hyundai Motor falling 0.36 percent to 137,000 won and Kia Motors losing 0.92 percent to 42,950 won.
Top pharmaceutical firm Celltrion shed 1.82 percent to 189,000 won, and Samsung BioLogics slid 1.32 percent to 299,500 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical moved down 0.85 percent to 292,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,181.60 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.10 won from the previous session.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys gained 1.4 basis points to 1.438 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 2.2 basis points to 1.476 percent.