Seoul shares dip 0.81 pct ahead of earnings releases
Published : 2013-01-23 15:37
Updated : 2013-01-23 15:37
South Korean stocks dropped 0.81 percent Wednesday as investors took to the sidelines ahead of releases of fourth-quarter earnings of big-name companies, analysts said. The local currency fell sharply against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 16.11 points to finish at 1,980.41. Trading volume was moderate at 485.7 million shares worth 4.16 trillion won (US$3.9 billion) with losers outnumbering winners 500 to 300.
"Investors remain cautious to see how large-cap companies did last year," said Lee Da-seul, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities Co. "They don't bet ahead of big events."
Tech giant Samsung Electronics and top automaker Hyundai Motor are set to release their fourth-quarter earnings later this week.
"Deals on expanding the debt limit in the United States still affect the South Korean market to some extent," said the analyst.
Foreigners offloaded a net 2.8 billion won worth of local shares, and institutions dumped a net 97.2 billion won.
Most shares finished in negative territory across the board.
Samsung Electronics shed 0.47 percent to 1,473,000 won and LG Display, a flat screen supplier of Apple, dropped 0.79 percent to 28,900 won.
Construction shares ended bearish, with top builder Hyundai Engineering & Construction losing 3 percent to 67,800 won and GS Engineering & Construction falling 3.98 percent to 53,100 won.
Carmakers ended mixed amid the slowdown in the yen depreciation, with industry leader Hyundai Motor rising 1.63 percent to 218,000 won but its smaller affiliate Kia Motors dipping 0.18 percent to 54,200 won.
The local currency ended at 1,066.2 won against the greenback, down 3.9 won from Tuesday's close, amid expectations that Japan's new monetary policy will work to slow the yen's decline, dealers said. (Yonhap News)