South Korean stocks closed 0.20 percent lower on Thursday on weaker than expected U.S. economic data and lingering eurozone woes, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 3.96 points to close at 1,995.11, the first drop in five sessions.
Trading volume was heavy at 677 million shares worth 4.57 trillion won ($4.03 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 442 to 378.
“Lower than expected job gains in the United States and other economic data adversely affected the local bourse,” said Koh Seung-hee, an analyst at SK Securities Co. “Concerns of the world’s largest economy losing upward momentum may have weighed down the market.”
Others such as Oh Seung-hoon, an economist at Daeshin Securities Co., said overnight losses in the Spanish and Italian stock markets affected the KOSPI as well since local investors remain wary of developments taking place in eurozone economies.
Electronics and autos lost ground, while chemicals and financials moved up.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.64 percent to close at 1,401,000 won, with top automaker Hyundai Motor falling 0.93 percent to 265,500 won, Kia Motors, South Korea’s second-largest carmaker, also declined 1.67 percent to 82,400 won.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipmaker, dropped 1.74 percent to 283,000 won, with Hyundai Mobis, a leading auto parts maker, falling 2.17 percent to 293,500 won.
State-run power monopoly Korea Electric Power Corp., however, gained 1.56 percent to 22,850 won, with LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, jumping 2.73 percent to 301,500 won. Shinhan Financial Group Co. gained a solid 3.54 percent to 41,000 won.
The local currency finished at 1,129.0 won to the greenback, down 1.6 won from Wednesday’s close, dealers said.