Published : 2013-01-21 15:57
Updated : 2013-01-21 15:57
South Korean stocks inched down 0.05 percent Monday as investors dumped large cap shares due to a pessimistic outlook on fourth-quarter earnings, analysts said. The local currency lost ground against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 0.99 points to finish at 1,986.86. Trading volume was moderate at 440.75 million shares worth 3.76 trillion won (US$3.54 billion) with gainers outpacing decliners 459 to 352.
"The mood is quite positive in recent times. China's fourth-quarter growth met market expectations and U.S. policymakers agreed on budget deals," said Han Beom-ho, a senior analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp. "But, investors are a little concerned about earnings of big-name companies due to a strengthening local currency."
Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor are set to release their fourth-quarter earnings later this week.
He said Vanguard Group's recent move to switch to a benchmark index which excludes Seoul shares pulled down some shares including Samsung Electronics.
Stocks closed in mixed territory, with techs and autos bearish and banks and shipbuilders bullish.
Tech giant Samsung Electronics slid 1.76 percent to 1,454,000 won and LG Display, one of the biggest flat screen suppliers for Apple, lost 1.04 percent to 28,500 won.
Carmakers continued their weak trend as Japan's central bank is expected to conduct another round of monetary easing. Industry leader Hyundai Motor dipped 1.41 percent to 210,500 won and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors fell 1.48 percent to 53,400 won.
However, bank shares finished higher on the easing of the fiscal crisis in the United States, with Woori Finance Holdings, the biggest finance group by asset, gaining 2.02 percent to 12,650 won.
No. 1 shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries climbed 0.66 percent to 230,500 won and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering rose 3.21 percent to 28,900 won.
The local currency ended at 1,062.9 won against the greenback, down 5.7 won from Friday's close, as investor appetite for safer assets rose on U.S. sluggish consumption data, dealers said. (Yonhap News)