Published : 2013-02-01 16:55
Updated : 2013-02-01 16:55
South Korean stocks ended 0.21 percent lower on Friday as investors stepped to the sidelines amid lingering concerns over economic uncertainties and ahead of the release of U.S. jobs data over the weekend, analysts said Friday.
The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dipped 4.15 points to 1,957.79. Trading volume was moderate at 378.1 million share worth 4 trillion (US$3.7 billion), with decliners dwarfing gainers 534 to 273.
"There wasn't much change in investor sentiment. There are still concerns over economic uncertainties and currency volatility," said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities Co.
"While the U.S. job report may affect investor sentiment, the KOSPI is more likely to follow bigger trends such as foreign exchange," he said.
Large caps closed mixed. Hyundai Mobis, an auto-parts affiliate of Hyundai Motor, rose 1.93 percent to 290,500 won after releasing rosy fourth-quarter earnings. Hyundai Motor also gained 0.73 percent to 206,500 won.
KT, the country's top fixed-line and No. 2 mobile operator, rose 1.5 percent to 37,150 won despite posting weaker-than-expected earnings.
In contrast, SK Innovation slumped 1.75 percent to 168,500 won despite strong quarterly earnings. Earlier in the day, the top refiner said its fourth-quarter net income rose 50.8 percent on-year thanks to a strong won.
Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction tumbled 8.06 percent to 42,800 won on rumors of a capital increase.
The local currency closed at 1,097.4 won against the greenback, down 8.4 won from Thursday's close, as foreigners sold local stocks, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasuries finished unchanged at 2.76 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds gained 0.01 percentage point to 2.9 percent. (Yonhap News)