Published : 2013-10-02 15:41
Updated : 2013-10-02 15:41
South Korean stocks ended almost flat Wednesday as investors shrugged off concerns about the partial government shutdown in the U.S. with steady foreign buying, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched up 0.6 points, or 0.03 percent, to close at 1,999.47. Trading volume was light at 231.8 million shares worth 4.31 trillion won ($4.01 billion) with decliners outstripping gainers 463 to 329.
KOSPI moved in a tight range as investors weren't eager to make risky bets, although they were confident the partial halt of the U.S. government would only have a limited impact on the local market.
"Uncertainties in the U.S. may weigh down foreign inflows to the local market only if (the shutdown's) prolonged, but it's expected to be short-lived," said Seo Myung-chan, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co.
Overseas investors scooped up a net 225.1 billion won, with retail investors buying a net 21.2 billion won. Institutions sold off a net 227.8 billion won.
Foreigners bought a lot of blue-chip tech shares on Wednesday, pushing up the KOSPI. Top-cap Samsung Electronics soared 2.6 percent to 1,418,000 won and chipmaker SK hynix surged 4.01 percent to 31,150 won.
But large automakers dipped, dented by the streak of a stronger local currency against the dollar. Hyundai Motor dropped 2.75 percent to 247,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors tumbled 4.56 percent to 62,800 won.
Korean won ended at 1,074.00 won against the greenback, down 0.5 won from Tuesday's close, as exporters' demand for the local currency capped it from falling further, dealers said. The KOSPI will be closed on Thursday for National Foundation Day.(Yonhap News)