Published : 2013-03-11 15:38
Updated : 2013-03-11 15:38
South Korean stocks closed 0.13 percent lower on Monday as North Korean risks dented investor sentiment despite positive U.S. jobs data, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell
2.66 points to 2,003.35. Trading volume was moderate at 387.5 million shares worth 3.63 trillion won (US$3.32 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 540 to 280.
"Heightening geopolitical tension is weighing on the local stock market despite rosy U.S. economic data and hopes for improving global liquidity," said Lim Dong-lak, an analyst at Hanyang Securities Co.
"But unless North Korean risks escalate into a physical clash, it is likely they will fizzle out as they had in previous cases,"
Autos led the decline. The country's top automaker Hyundai Motor fell 2.34 percent to 208,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors lost 2.06 percent to 52,200 won.
NHN, the operator of South Korea's most-visited portal Naver.com, slumped 3.65 percent to 264,000 won after announcing a plan to spin off its game unit in August.
Major tech shares, however, bucked the losses, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics adding 0.6 percent to 1,508,000 won.
SK hynix, the world's No. 2 memory chip maker, also rose 1.24 percent to 28,600 won as investors pinned hopes on first-quarter earnings.
Defensive shares ended higher, with retail giant Lotte Shopping rising 1.29 percent to 393,000 won and confectionery maker Orion adding 2.58 percent to 1,115,000 won.
The local currency ended at 1,094.8 won against the greenback, down 4.5 won from Friday amid lingering woes over North Korea, dealers said. (Yonhap News)