Shares inch down on lingering eurozone woes
Korean stocks closed marginally lower Wednesday as lingering concerns over the eurozone debt crisis kept investors reluctant to make risky bets, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) edged down 0.15 points, or 0.01 percent, to finish at 1,817.66. Trading volume was moderate at 315.3 million shares worth 4.26 trillion won ($3.68 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 465 to 338.
"There's nothing from the 'outside' to invite investors to buy up shares. It's a boring market that is making investors fret and remain wary," said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Daewoo Securities Co.
After falling below the 1,800 level in early trading, the main index swerved in and out of territory later, but failed to snap its four-day losing streak.
However, some blue chips gathered sharp ground in late trading, helping the KOSPI close above the psychological support level of 1,800, Lee added.
Top-cap Samsung Electronics rebounded 2.46 percent to 1,167,000 won as some investors sought bargain-hunting.
Most shares finished bearish. Automobiles dropped sharply due to concerns about possible union strikes at the two industry leaders that failed to reach an agreement on salaries. Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors tumbled 3.14 percent and 3.29 percent to 231,000 won and 73,600 won, respectively.
Refiners sank on fears South Korea could halt Iranian crude oil imports starting next month in line with the U.S. sanctions. SK Innovation fell 1.49 percent to 132,000 won and smaller player S-Oil dipped 0.88 percent to 90,000 won.
The local currency ended at 1,156.20 won against the greenback, up 2.2 won from Tuesday's close, amid continuing jitters over the eurozone crisis, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasuries fell 0.02 percentage point to 3.27 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds also slipped 0.02 percentage point to 3.39 percent. (Yonhap)