Published : 2013-02-21 17:25
Updated : 2013-02-21 17:28
South Korean stocks closed 0.47 percent lower on Thursday as investors took a breather following a six-session rally, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 9.42 points to 2,015.22. Trading volume was moderate at 385.9 million shares worth 4 trillion won (US$3.7 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 527 to 279.
Foreigners extended their net buying to a fourth straight session, while institutions shifted to selling. Retail investors also picked up shares.
"The KOSPI's recent climb and concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve may scale back its economic stimulus prompted investors to step to the sidelines," said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities Co. "But the upward trend is likely to continue."
Steelmakers led the decline, with the country's top player POSCO slumping 1.75 percent to 364,500 won. Smaller player Hyundai Steel lost 1.72 percent to 85,700 won.
Large caps, meanwhile, closed mixed. The country's top automaker Hyundai Motor slipped 0.46 percent to 216,000 won, but its parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis rose 0.65 percent to 307,500 won.
Techs outperformed the KOSPI, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics adding 0.32 percent to 1,550,000 won and LG Electronics rising 1.44 percent to 77,400 won.
Tire makers also finished bullish on hopes new product launches will boost sales. Nexen Tire surged 7.3 percent to 14,700 won.
The local currency ended at 1,086.2 won against the greenback, down 7.7 won from Wednesday's close, following the release of the Fed's January minutes, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasuries slipped 0.03 percentage point to 2.68 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds also fell 0.03 percentage point to 2.79 percent. (Yonhap News)