Published : 2013-01-17 19:57
Updated : 2013-01-17 19:57
South Korean stocks closed marginally lower Thursday, as overseas investors continued to dump shares amid lingering economic jitters and a strong local currency, analysts said. The Korean won edged up against the U.S dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 3.18 points, or 0.16 percent, to finish at 1,974.27. Trading volume was heavy at 821.3 million shares worth 4.06 trillion won ($3.84 billion) with losers outnumbering gainers 450 to 342.
“Investor sentiment has become more sensitive toward foreign investors’ moves, as there’s no market movers for them to keep track of,” said Kim Hyung-ryeol, an analyst at Kyobo Securities Co.
China is expected to announce its growth figure for the fourth quarter of last year on Friday, which will spark upward leads to the market as long as it meets the market consensus, Kim added.
The KOSPI started off higher in the earlier session but pared gains led by a foreign selloff in tech blue-chip shares.
Market behemoth Samsung Electronics fell 1.54 percent to 1,469,000 won, the lowest since Dec. 21 last year. Chipmaker SK hynix retreated 1.15 percent to 25,900 won.
Foreigners unloaded a net 122.0 billion won, extending their selling binge for the sixth consecutive session.
Shipping lines and steelmakers finished bearish, with local bulk shipping company STX PanOcean slumping 3.23 percent to 5,400 won and industry leader POSCO inching down 0.28 percent to 355,500 won.
In contrast, automakers gained ground. No. 1 player Hyundai Motor rose 0.95 percent to 212,500 won and its affiliate Kia Motors added 0.73 percent to 55,000 won.
The local currency ended at 1,058.10 won against the greenback, up 0.6 won from Wednesday’s close, amid its streak of appreciation against a weakening Japanese yen, dealers said. (Yonhap News)