South Korean stocks closed 1.43 percent lower Friday on lack of upward momentum and growing European debt concerns, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 27.80 points to 1,917.13, in its third straight session of decline.
Trading volume was moderate at 522 million shares worth 4.32 trillion won ($3.76 billion), with losers clearly outpacing gainers 607 to 206.
“There was no real momentum to bolster the bourse and counteract the bad news coming from eurozone economies,” said Cho Byung-hyun, an analyst at Tongyang Securities Inc.
Others such as Lee Jong-woo, a chief strategist at Solomon Investment & Securities, said the slow pace of South Korea’s economic growth and slowing exports due to weak overseas demand are weighing down local stocks.
Market confidence was also hampered by anti-austerity election results in France and Greece, they added.
Shares lost ground across the board with big caps leading the fall.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics dropped 1.81 percent to 1,303,000 won with top automaker Hyundai Motor closing down 0.80 percent at 248,000 won.
LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, plunged 3.47 percent to 278,000 won with Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipmaker, giving up 1.52 percent to 260,000 won. LG Electronics lost 3.89 percent to 71,600 won.
Samsung Life Insurance, however, gained 1.24 percent to 97,800 won with Kia Motors, South Korea’s second-largest carmaker, moving up 1.00 percent to 80,600 won. Leading steelmaker POSCO also rose 0.79 percent to 384,500 won.
The local currency finished at 1,146.6 won to the U.S. greenback, down 4.1 won from Thursday’s close, dealers said.