Published : 2013-09-04 15:30
Updated : 2013-09-04 15:30
South Korean stocks closed almost flat Wednesday as investors took a wait-and-see approach amid rising concerns that the United States may conduct a military strike on Syria, analysts said. The local currency closed higher against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 0.71 points, or 0.04 percent to finish at 1,933.03. Trading volume was low at 290.1 million shares worth 4.04 trillion won (US$3.68 billion) with gainers outpacing losers 384 to 381.
Analysts said Seoul shares closed flat on the prospect of a U.S.-led military attack on Syria, which is anticipated to spark political and economic instability in the region.
"The Syrian crisis is a crucial factor on the local stock market for the short term, as it is closely linked with the global oil prices," said Bae Sung-young, a researcher at Hyundai Securities Co.
Overseas investors extended their buying rally to the ninth consecutive session with a 15 billion-won net purchase, and institutions also scooped up a net 67.7 billion won. In contrast, individuals sold a net 73.7 billion won.
Retailers traded lower, with E-mart moving down 1.88 percent to 208,500 won and Hyundai Department Store losing 1.28 percent to 154,000 won. Daewoo International, a leading South Korean trading company, shed 0.14 percent to 35,800 won.
Insurers also closed bearish, with Samsung Life moving down 5.21 percent to 100,000 won and Hanwha Life falling 1.94 percent to 6,560 won. Dongbu Insurance declined 2.15 percent to 45,600 won.
Tech shares closed higher, with top player Samsung Electronics adding 0.22 percent to 1,340,000 won and its smaller local rival LG Electronic rising 1.36 percent to 74,500 won. Top chipmaker SK hynix added 0.7 percent to 28,650 won.
The local currency ended at 1,094.50 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.40 won from Tuesday's close. It is due mainly to shipbuilders, who continued to offload the greenback, dealers said. (Yonhap news)