Kospi closed Monday slightly up, finishing the day at 3,203.33
Stocks edged up after choppy trading Monday as investors seek to digest weaker-than-expected August jobs data in the United States. The won rose against the dollar.
The benchmark Kospi added 2.27 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 3,203.33 points.
Trading volume was moderate at about 716 million shares worth some 12.1 trillion won ($10.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 427 to 412.
Foreigners bought a net 64 billion won, while retail investors sold 99 billion won. Institutions purchased a net 46 billion won.
The Kospi fluctuated in a tight range as investors weighed chances of a delay in the Fed's tapering timeline.
New jobs in the U.S. came to a seven-month low in August amid the spread of variant cases, raising expectations the Federal Reserve would not rush tapering its asset buying plans in the September meeting.
"Market participants seem to be interpreting the U.S. jobs data in different ways and had the Kospi boxed in a tight range," said HI Investment & Securities analyst Park Sang-hyun.
Tech and chemical gains led the Kospi's gain, while financial firms and bank large caps retreated.
Samsung Electronics added 0.91 percent to 77,300 won, while chipmaker SK hynix lost 0.93 percent to 106,000 won.
Internet portal operator Naver moved up 0.33 percent to 454,000 won, but Kakao fell 0.64 percent to 155,500.
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics increased 0.32 percent to 954,000 won, and Celltrion fell 1.59 percent to 278,500 won.
Chemical firm LG Chem jumped 3.45 percent to 750,000 won, and automaker Hyundai Motor climbed 0.23 percent to 215,000 won.
Rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI added 0.93 percent to 767,000 won.
Bank stock Kakao Bank plunged 4.21 percent to 77,400 won.
The Kosdaq fell 0.89 points, or 0.08 percent, to close at 1,052.96.
The local currency closed at 1,156.5 won against the dollar, down 0.5 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year government bonds added 2.2 basis points to 1.46 percent, and the yield on the benchmark 10-year government bond gained 3.6 basis points to 1.32 percent.
BY LEE TAE-HEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]