Shares fall 0.49% on persistent Europe woes
Korean stocks fell 0.49 percent Friday as investor sentiment was dampened by persistent European Union's fiscal uncertainties, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gave up 8.96 points, to 1,834.51. Trading volume was light at 322 million shares worth 3.48 trillion won ($2.95 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 478 to 351.
"Uncertainties on how the current eurozone crisis will be resolved weighed down the local bourse," said Song Chang-sung, an analyst at Hanyang Securities. He added that stocks are losing ground due to the lack of clear-cut upward momentum.
Hyundai Securities analyst Bae Sung-young said the KOSPI's slide was fueled by a slowdown in China's economy that can hurt South Korea's exports.
Others added that the overnight drop on Wall Street caused by disappointing U.S. economic data, hurt investors' confidence as well.
Many big caps in autos, chemicals and the heavy industry led the decline with electronics and information technology posting some gains.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor dropped 2.46 percent to 238,000 won and No. 2 carmaker Kia Motors falling 1.00 percent to 79,400 won.
LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, plunged 3.09 percent to 282,000 won, with top refiner SK Innovation declining 2.86 percent to 136,000 won.
Global steelmaker POSCO also surrendered 1.24 percent to 357,500 won, with Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipmaker, losing 2.62 percent to 260,000 won.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics, however, gained 1.82 percent to 1,233,000 won, with the country's leading mobile carrier SK Telecom adding 2.90 percent to 124,000 won.
The local currency finished at 1,177.7 won to the U.S. greenback, up 2.6 won from Thursday's close, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasuries fell 0.02 percentage point to 3.30 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds dropped 0.04 percentage point to 3.39 percent. (Yonhap)