Published : 2013-02-25 16:43
Updated : 2013-02-25 16:43
South Korean stocks closed 0.46 percent lower on Monday due to rising uncertainties stemming from the Unites States, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved down 9.37 points to 2,009.52. Trading volume was low at 333.3 million shares worth 3.1 trillion won ($2.85 billion) with losers outpacing gainers 477 to 317.
"Investor sentiment was dented by the economic uncertainties in the U.S., despite rising hopes for the local economy following the inauguration of President Park Geun-hye," said Han Beom-ho, a senior analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.
"Local investors took a wait-and-see approach as the U.S. Federal Reserve announced earlier it may scale back its economic stimulus sooner than expected," Han said. "Rising concerns over the U.S. sequestration also weighed down on investor sentiment."
Foreigners purchased a net 33.5 billion won worth of local shares, and retail investors scooped up a net 75 billion won.
Institutional investors offloaded a net 97 billion won.
Construction firms lost ground due to rising concerns over the industry as Ssangyong Engineering & Construction, a South Korean builder, plans to file for a debt workout this week to combat its cash shortages.
Hyundai Engineering & Construction fell 1.59 percent to 68,200 won, and Daewoo Engineering & Construction moved down 2.05 percent to 9,060 won.
Carmakers also lost ground, with No. 1 player Hyundai Motor falling 2.05 percent to 214,500 won and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors losing 0.9 percent to 55,000 won as foreign investors offloaded their shares.
In contrast, STX Pan Ocean, the nation's leading bulk carrier, moved up 0.4 percent to 5,020 won on reports that the country's top steelmaker POSCO plans to acquire shares in the company.
CJ CGV, the operator of South Korea's largest multiplex cinema chain, moved up 5.88 percent to reach 41,400 won on the improved outlook for the country's film industry.
The local currency closed at 1,086.30 won against the greenback, down 1.60 won from Friday's close, due to the gloomy outlook over the eurozone economy, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasuries fell 0.01 percentage point to 2.68 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds closed flat at 2.80 percent. (Yonhap News)