Published : 2013-01-15 16:05
Updated : 2013-01-15 16:05
South Korean stocks retreated 1.16 percent Tuesday, as overseas investors dumped shares to take profits from recent rises, analysts said. The Korean won lost ground against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 23.30 points to close at 1,983.74. Trading volume was heavy at 542 million shares worth 4.37 trillion won (US$4.14 billion) with decliners far outstripping gainers 535 to 263.
"The earnings season kicked off in the U.S., except that there isn't really anything that whets investor appetite as expectations on corporate performances are reflected in the market," said Han Chi-hwan, an analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities Co.
After starting lower briefly, the KOSPI bobbed in and out of positive territory in the earlier session before it widened losses led by a foreign selloff.
Offshore investors dumped a net 229.9 billion won, the largest since the 263.4 billion won selloff tallied on Nov. 28. Retail and institutional investors, in contrast, scooped up a combined net 233.3 billion won.
Most shares trended downward, with defensive and tech issues leading the decline.
State-run electricity provider Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) snapped a five-day gaining streak to slump 4.02 percent to 33,450 won, trimming its recent surge. KEPCO has spiked more than 12 percent in the last two weeks on the back of the government's fee raise on utility bills.
Tech blue-chips finished bearish following a 3-percent dip in shares of U.S. Apple Inc. on Monday due to weaker demand in its manufacturing parts.
Market behemoth Samsung Electronics dropped 2.58 percent to 1,512,000 won, with chipmaker SK hynix falling 3.71 percent to 25,950 won.
In contrast, telecom issues gained on brighter earnings forecasts, with No. 2 mobile carrier SK Telecom rising 2.8 percent to 165,500 won.
The local currency ended at 1,056.50 won against the greenback, down 0.4 won from Monday's close, largely due to the foreign selloff and remarks by the governor of the Korean central bank on Monday indicating there would be government intervention to stem the won's rise, dealers said. (Yonhap News)