Published : 2013-01-16 15:32
Updated : 2013-01-16 15:32
South Korean stocks closed almost flat Wednesday as investors took to the sidelines amid bleak corporate earnings, analysts said. The local currency lost ground against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched up 1.94 points, or 0.1 percent to finish at 1,985.68. Trading volume was moderate at 372.1 million shares worth 2.94 trillion won (US$2.77 billion) with decliners outpacing gainers 416 to 365.
"It's hard to say corporate earnings have been satisfactory.
For Korea, we could say the only winner for the fourth quarter of last year is Samsung Electronics while other companies have underperformed," said Cho Yong-hyun at Hana Daetoo Securities Co.
Foreign investors continued their selling binge on the Seoul bourse for the fifth consecutive session with a net 91.0 billion won. Institutions also turned to net sellers selling a net 30 billion won.
Large tech firms drove the shares down, with market behemoth Samsung Electronics falling 1.32 percent to 1,492,000 won. Local electronic parts maker LG Innotek tumbled 4.36 percent to 74,500 won as its U.S. buyer Apple Inc. reported its parts demand has weakened.
Shipbuilders and brokerage houses also trended downward, with industry leader Hyundai Heavy Industries shedding 0.66 percent to 227,500 won and No. 2 player KDB Daewoo Securities dipping 1.28 percent to 11,550 won.
In contrast, automakers and financial firms went up. Industry leader Hyundai Motor rose 0.72 percent to 210,500 won and Woori Finance Holdings jumped 3 percent to 12,000 won after the country's financial regulator gave the green light to spinning off its card business.
The local currency ended at 1,058.70 won against the greenback, down 2.2 won from Tuesday's close, largely due to the central bank's indication of curbing its steep rise through intervention measures, dealers said. (Yonhap News)