According to reports, South Korean shares finished higher on Thursday, with late buying of shipbuilding and technology counters helping
the key index close in positive territory.
Trading was listless for most of the session as investors found little direction from Wall Street's mixed close overnight.
Weak trade data released by the Bank of Korea triggered
fears that growth momentum could slow and prices shoot up. The central bank said the country had a merchandise trade deficit of 1.01 billion US dollars in January as imports grew at a faster clip than exports because of the spike in oil prices
. This is the first trade deficit since March 2003.
But stocks found support late in the session after hopes emerged that foreign investors will return to the market after a sustained selling spree. Foreign investors remained net buyers for the third straight session.
Shipbuilders advanced amid a growing belief that the strong industry fundamentals remain intact and that their valuations are still attractive.
Hyundai Heavy rose 2.5 percent and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering gained 2.4 percent at 38,550 won.