Published : 2013-09-02 15:40
Updated : 2013-09-02 15:40
South Korean stocks closed 0.08 percent lower Monday as the rising woes in the Middle East dented investors' sentiment in spite of improved economic data, analysts said. The local currency moved up against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 1.55 points to finish at 1,924.81. Trading volume was low at 238.8 million shares worth 3.37 trillion won (US$3.04 billion) with gainers outpacing losers 458 to 330.
Market watchers said the decline came as advanced countries' stock markets closed lower in the previous trading session amid the rising tension in Syria.
The United States claimed it has evidence to prove the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its own people, but its allies the U.K. and France said they will wait until the U.N. finishes its investigation into the alleged use of the deadly weapons to make any decisions.
U.S. stocks closed lower Friday on the prospect of a U.S.-led military attack on Syria, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing 0.21 percent and tech-laden NASDAQ composite index falling 0.84 percent.
"Seoul shares were also affected by rising uncertainties over the U.S. monetary policy," said Kim Hak-gyun, an analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities, adding a possible cut in its quantitative easing will continue to limit the market's growth.
Analysts added the decline, meanwhile, was limited as South Korea posted improved economic data last month, which added to hopes for an economic recovery down the road.
In August, the country's outbound shipments came to about US$46.36 billion, up 7.7 percent from the same month last year, while its imports only inched up 0.8 percent on-year to $41.45 billion, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Overseas investors extended their buying rally to the seventh consecutive session with a 56.1 billion-won net purchase, and institutions also scooped up a net 69.9 billion won. In contrast, individuals sold a net 131.2 billion won.
Carmakers closed lower, with No. 1 Hyundai Motor falling 1.81 percent to 244,500 won and Kia Motors losing 1.49 percent to 66,200 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis, in contrast, edged up 0.9 percent to 281,500 won.
Tech shares closed mixed, with market behemoth Samsung Electronics losing 1.24 percent to 1,351,000 won while top chipmaker SK hynix added 0.18 percent to 28,300 won. LG Electronics gained 1.1 percent to 73,200 won.
Builders gathered ground, with Hyundai Engineering & Construction adding 0.52 percent to 57,700 won and Daelim Industrial rising 2.29 percent to 89,500 won. Daewoo Engineering & Construction moved up 1.22 percent to 7,470 won.
The local currency ended at 1,100.50 won against the greenback, up 9.5 won from Friday's close, due mainly to the country's improved export data, dealers said. (Yonhap news)