Published : 2013-01-14 15:43
Updated : 2013-01-14 15:43
South Korean stocks rose 0.52 percent Monday but gains were capped as a weaker Japanese currency kept investors wary about making more bets on local shares, analysts said. The Korean won lost ground against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) advanced 10.37 points to finish at 2,007.04. Trading volume was moderate at 441.5 million shares worth 4.07 trillion won (US$3.84 billion) with gainers outstripping losers 419 to 378.
"A weaker Japanese yen has become a burden for us," said Park Ok-hee, an analyst at IBK Investment & Securities Co. "Eyes are now on whether the Bank of Japan will come up with further easing measures next week, and chances are high that they will."
China is expected to report forecast-beating fourth-quarter growth, but such optimism is already reflected in the market and thus not enough to fuel the index, Park said.
Foreigners went on a selling mode, offloading a net 96.3 billion won, while institutions snapped up a net 102.6 billion won.
Telecom and utility issues drove the main index up. No. 2 mobile carrier SK Telecom shot up 4.22 percent to 160,500 won on upbeat earnings forecast. Its rival KT Corp. jumped 3.27 percent to 36,300 won.
Boosted by the government's raised fees on electricity, state-run electricity provider Korea Electric Power Corp. climbed 3.57 percent to 34,850 won.
In contrast, chemicals and steelmakers finished bearish, with LG Chem falling 1.7 percent to 318,500 won and Hyundai Steel slipping 2.81 percent to 82,900 won.
The local currency ended at 1,056.10 won against the greenback, down 1.4 won from Friday's close, as its recent gains were excessive, dealers said. (Yonhap News)