(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)
SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares rose nearly 1 percent Tuesday as investors picked up recently downbeat issues, including Samsung Electronics, amid worries over inflation and aggressive monetary tightening in major economies. The Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 23.86 points, or 0.92 percent, to close at 2,620.44 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 859 million shares worth some 9.3 trillion won (US$7.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 502 to 344.
Institutions bought about a net 462 billion won worth of shares, while foreigners sold 160 billion won and retail investors offloaded 305 billion won in net value.
Tuesday's rise came as investors picked up downbeat shares buoyed in part by eased worries over China's economic slowdown despite lingering concerns over the U.S. Federal Reserve's move for aggressive monetary tightening and supply chain disruptions caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine.
"The market seems to be responding to the stabilizing pace of a rise in U.S. Treasury yields, in addition to the easing worries about China's data," analyst Park Sang-hyun of Hi Investment & Securities said.
In Seoul, large-cap stocks closed mostly higher.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics jumped 1.96 percent to 67,600 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 1.81 percent to 112,500 won. Major battery maker LG Energy Solution went up 2 percent to 408,500 won, and Kakao, the operator of popular mobile messenger Kakao Talk, rose 1.09 percent to 83,200 won.
Among losers, the country's largest chemical company, LG Chem, shed 0.39 percent to 505,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,275 won against the dollar, up 9.1 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 1.5 basis points to 3.031 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 0.5 basis point to 3.230 percent.