Published : 2013-03-21 16:38
Updated : 2013-03-21 16:38
South Korean stocks closed 0.44 percent lower Thursday due the gloomy outlook over first-quarter corporate earnings, analysts said. The local currency gained against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed
8.59 points to 1950.82. Trading volume was low at 258 million shares worth 3.52 trillion won (US$3.16 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 493 to 295.
"Local shares trade lower despite the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to maintain stimulus measures due to the dour outlook on local firms' first-quarter earnings," said Han Beom-ho, a senior analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.
"Network failures on Wednesday, coupled with a rising possibility for an additional attack, also dented investor sentiment," Han added. "However, improved economic data from the U.S. and China will continue to sustain the market."
Local TV broadcasters KBS, MBC and YTN along with Shinhan, NongHyup and Jeju banks suffered a massive network failure on Wednesday that halted financial services and crippled operations for hours.
Foreigners offloaded a net 313.7 billion won worth of local shares. In contrast, institutions scooped up a net 56.7 billion won and retail investors purchased a net 252.9 billion won.
Mobile carriers closed lower on rising concerns that excessive competition will eat into their earnings, with No. 1 player SK Telecom falling 2.17 percent to 180,000 won and KT losing 2.59 percent to 35,750 won.
Logistics firms also declined, with Hyundai Glovis losing 2.39 percent to 183,500 won, and Hyundai Merchant Marine sliding 3.12 percent to 13,950 won.
In contrast, Kia Motors advanced 0.92 percent to 54,900 won following the improved outlook on the foreign exchange market.
LG Display climbed 0.16 percent to 31,250 won as Samsung decided to drop a patent suit over liquid-crystal display technologies on Wednesday. Samsung Electronics shed 0.21 percent to 1,457,000 won.
Retailers also closed higher, with discount store chain Emart rising 0.23 percent to 220,000 won and Daewoo International, a leading South Korean trading company, moving up 1.88 percent.
The local currency ended at 1,115.70 won to the U.S. dollar, up 0.40 won from Wednesday's close on the Fed's decision to continue quantitative easing, dealers said. (Yonhap News)