Published : 2013-03-22 15:44
Updated : 2013-03-22 15:44
South Korean stocks closed 0.11 percent lower Friday due to rising concerns over the eurozone fiscal crisis, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 2.11 points to 1948.71. Trading volume was low at 244 million shares worth 3.28 trillion won (US$2.94 billion), with gainers outnumbering decliners 426 to 370.
"While investors are taking a wait-and-see stance on the recovery of the U.S. economy, the crisis in the eurozone sounded alarm bells as Cyprus may face a default," said Lee Sang-jae, a researcher at Hyundai Securities Co.
Standard & Poor's, a global credit appraiser, slashed Cyprus's sovereign rating on Friday by one notch to "CCC," citing rising concerns over the country's financial health.
The International Monetary Fund and the eurozone countries earlier agreed to provide Cyprus with a bailout worth 10 billion euros (US$12.9 billion) in a bid to prevent the country from going bankrupt.
Foreigners offloaded a net 330.3 billion won worth of local shares. In contrast, institutions scooped up a net 209.3 billion won and retail investors purchased a net 123.9 billion won.
Mobile carriers closed lower on rising concerns that excessive competition will eat into their earnings, with No. 1 player SK Telecom falling 1.94 percent to 176,000 won, and KT losing 2.52 percent to 34,850 won.
Poongsan, a South Korean supplier of non-ferrous metals and defense products, declined 2.64 percent to 27,700 won due to the gloomy outlook over first-quarter earnings.
Market behemoth Samsung Electronics fell 0.14 percent to 1,455,000 won as foreign investors offloaded its shares.
In contrast, Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) climbed 1.69 percent to 30,100 won on the report that an international consortium led by the firm clinched a $2.3 billion deal on Thursday to build a thermal power plant in Vietnam.
Tech shares also gathered ground, with top chipmaker SK hynix rising 0.89 percent to 28,300 won and LG Electronics adding 1.51 percent to 80,900 won. Leading flat panel manufacturer LG Display rose 0.64 percent to 31,450 won.
The local currency ended at 1,119.30 won to the U.S. dollar, down 3.60 won from Thursday's close due to rising concerns over the eurozone, dealers said. (Yonhap News)