South Korean stocks rose more than 17 percent for the first nine months of this year, the fifth highest increase rate among the world's major 20 advanced and emerging economies, the Korea Stock Exchange (KSE) said Sunday.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) surged 17.1 percent to 2,272.57 as of Sept. 27 from 2,026.46 at the end of last year, buttressed by strong performances from Samsung Electronics Co., SK hynix Inc. and other semiconductors and information technology firms.
The index jumped to 2,451.53 on July 24 before subduing on geopolitical risks from North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.
Argentina posted the highest increase rate during the period with 49.4 percent, followed by Turkey at 29.5 percent, Brazil at 22.5 percent, Italy at 17.6 percent.
India came in sixth at 17 percent.
The U.S. Dow Jones industrial average jumped 13 percent.
Germany and France witnessed an increase of 10.2 percent and 8.6 percent each.
The comparable figures for China and Japan were 7.8 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
Russia was the only country which suffered a setback of 2.2 percent among the G-20 countries.
Industry analysts say South Korean stocks are still undervalued citing the price-earnings ratio at 11.8 as of Sept. 27.
The comparable figures were 126.1 for Argentina, 25.3 for Britain, 22.2 for India, 22.1 for Brazil, 22.1 for Italy and 21.8 for the U.S.
"The South Korean stock market has robust fundamentals and its valuation is still low," a KB Securities Co. report said. "Therefore, the stock market seems to have an upward trend." (Yonhap)