Published : 2013-02-03 20:43
Updated : 2013-02-03 20:43
Equities in the nation’s bourse are posting low profitability while major stock markets overseas have taken on a bullish trend.
Korea’s “decoupling” from major countries in stocks has continued over the past four weeks, with its price-earnings ratio, measuring share profitability, recording a rather low 8.69.
Hong Kong posted a P/E ratio of 16.07, followed by Taiwan with 14.52, the U.S. with 13.68, Australia with 13.15, Japan with 12.95, France with 11.39, the U.K. with 11.29, Germany with 11.24 and China with 10.49.
The main index KOSPI closed at 1,941.94 points at the end of January, down 1.8 percent from a month before.
In contrast, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of the U.S. and Nikkei Stock Average Index of Japan climbed 5.8 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, over the corresponding period.
Stock indexes of China, Hong Hong, Taiwan and Singapore reported growth between 2 percent and 5.1 percent. Major European countries also saw their indexes rise at least 2 percent.
Analysts pick the Japanese yen’s sharp depreciation against the Korean won for the decoupling of local stocks, pointing to difficulties of Korea’s export-oriented companies.
They also say the snowballing household debt makes it difficult for the bourse to bounce back from such a bearish situation.
Meanwhile, some brokerage firms forecast that the decoupling will not continue in the coming months.
“The U.S. dollar’s slide versus the Korean won worsened the situation during the period that industries are making public fourth-quarter earnings,” said a Daeshin Securities analyst.
Hana Daetoo Securities also said “the decoupling would not go on for a long time.”
The Japanese yen’s weaker position against the Korean currency was identified by Hyundai Economic Research Institute as a serious threat to the price competitiveness of Korea’s IT and car producers.
While the two sectors are the nation’s top growth engines, HERI estimated that Korea sees a drop in product exports by 0.87 percent and 0.68 percent, respectively, in IT and automobiles when the yen falls by 1 percent against the won.
Other sectors such as petrochemicals, steel and machinery are also expected to suffer heavier falls in export performance under the cheap yen trend, according to the institute.