Published : 2013-10-14 15:44
Updated : 2013-10-14 15:44
South Korean stocks closed 0.23 percent lower Monday, as investor sentiment was dented by concerns stemming from the political impasse in the U.S. over its debt limit with its deadline only three days away, analysts said. The local currency inched down against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 4.63 points, or 0.23 percent, to finish at 2,020.27. Trading volume was light at 217.5 million shares worth 3.57 trillion won ($3.33billion) with decliners outpacing gainers 481 to 323.
The main index bobbed in and out of negative terrain in a choppy trading, reflecting uncertainties toward the U.S. debt ceiling negotiations in a deadlock.
But analysts were positive that Washington will soon reach a deal to resolve the stalemate since it won't let itself lose its own authority to borrow money by missing the Oct. 17 deadline.
"Investors took a wary approach as they kept an eye on the U.S. debt limit negotiations. But in the long term, the KOSPI is moving toward an upward trend on sound fundamentals," said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co.
The KOSPI's fall on Monday was led by an institutional selloff, worth a net 243.7 billion won. Foreigners continued to scoop up local equities worth a net 196.7 billion won, with retail investors also buying a net 55.7 billion won.
Large-cap tech and auto stocks fell across the board. Tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics dipped 0.35 percent to 1,438,000 won, and Hyundai Motor declined 0.95 percent to 262,200 won.
Financial shares also traded bearish. Samsung Life Insurance fell 1.44 percent to 102,500 won, and KB Financial group lost 0.63 percent to 39,700 won.
In contrast, LG Chem, a major chemical maker, rose 1.44 percent to 316,000 won, and state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. gained 1.71 percent to 29,750 won.
The local currency ended at 1,071.50 won against the greenback, down 0.1 won from Friday's close, mainly due to the KOSPI's fall, dealers said. (Yonhap News)