South Korean shares retraced losses late Tuesday afternoon, as investors reacted to a televised speech by President Park Geun-hye offering to step down through a legal process, according to reports.
Park, who is embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal, apologized and said she would step down from her position in accordance with the law, asking legislators to aid her in handing over power with minimal political unrest, said Reuters.
The scandal broke out when reports said Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, who holds no post in the government, provided her advice on state affairs, suggesting Choi also had access to classified material related to national security and economic policies. Since then, hundred of thousands have protested in South Korea, calling on her to quit or be impeached.
The benchmark Kospi climbed 0.18 percent following Park's speech after previously falling near 0.2 percent. At market close, the index gave up the gains to close flat. The Kosdaq index finished up 3.02 points, or 0.51 percent, at 596.07. The Korean won strengthened from levels near 1,170 to around 1,168.50 after the announcement.