South Korea's main stock market has been the third-best performer among bourses in major advanced and emerging countries this year despite its recent drop, data showed Thursday.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell for the second session to close at 2,545.44 on Tuesday on profit-taking after touching an all-time high on Friday, according to the data by the Korea Exchange.
Yet Tuesday's close was up a whopping 25.6 percent from the end of last year, posting the third-highest gain among major stock indexes in the Group of 20 nations.
In 2016, KOSPI's on-year gain ranked 14th among the G20 countries, compared with eighth the previous year.
Market watchers expected the key stock index to gather further ground down the road, given the country's strong corporate earnings.
"In light of growth rates in recent years, South Korea's stock market has underperformed bourses in advanced economies," said Kim Hyung-ryeol, an analyst for Kyobo Securities Co. "There is more room for an upturn, considering the pace of corporate earnings growth."
Argentina's stock index registered the highest growth rate of 66.2 percent, followed by Turkey with 43.7 percent. India came fourth with 25.3 percent, trailed by Brazil with 20.2 percent, Japan with 20 percent, Italy with 19.4 percent and the United States with 19.2 percent.
In contrast, Russia's benchmark stock index declined 0.46 percent over the cited period, with Saudi Arabia recording a 3.84 percent decline.
Over the past one-month period, KOSPI climbed 6.3 percent, emerging as the third-best performer among the G20 nations. Japan topped the list with an increase of 10.9 percent, followed by Turkey with 10.8 percent, according to the data.