Published : 2013-10-25 16:05
Updated : 2013-10-25 16:05
South Korean stocks fell 0.6 percent Friday due mainly to weak data from the eurozone which sparked concerns over economic turmoil in advanced countries, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) declined 12.3 points to finish at 2034.39. Trading volume was low at 230 million shares worth 3.95 trillion won ($3.72 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 470 to 318.
Analysts said Seoul shares lost ground as a weak economic outlook over the eurozone weighed down on investors' sentiment.
Market researcher Markit Economics said the composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the eurozone is anticipated to reach 51.5 in October, down 0.7 points from a month earlier.
The PMI is an index that measures the health of a country's manufacturing sector. A reading of 50 or above represents an expansion of the sector from the previous month, while a reading below the figure represents a contraction.
"Despite China's better-than-expected PMI estimate for October, investors sat on the sidelines as weak data from the eurozone sparked concerns over a possible economic downturn of advanced countries," said Kang Hyun-gie, a researcher at I'M Investment & Securities Co.
British bank HSBC said Thursday the PMI for China's manufacturing sector is expected to reach 50.9 this month, hovering above the earlier estimate of 50.4.
Overseas investors became net sellers on the main bourse at 3 billion won, ending its buying rally of 40 consecutive sessions tallied a day earlier. Institutions also offloaded a net 168.5 billion won, while individuals scooped up a net 181.2 billion won.
Tech shares closed lower, with top chipmaker SK hynix losing 1.51 percent to 32,600 won and flat panel maker LG Display falling 2.4 percent to 24,350 won. Market behemoth Samsung Electronics closed unchanged at 1,449,000 won.
Mobile carriers also traded lower, with No. 1 player SK Telecom falling 0.21 percent to 236,500 won and KT losing 0.7 percent to 35,450 won. LG Uplus, the smallest player, shed 1.59 percent to 12,400 won.
In contrast, carmakers traded higher, with leading Hyundai Motor adding 1.97 percent to 258,000 won and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors advancing 0.47 percent to 63,600 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis gained 3.89 percent to 294,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,061.80 won against the greenback, down 0.80 won from Thursday's close. During Thursday's trading session, the local currency soared to reach 1,054.30 won, marking the highest level for 2013 and breaking an earlier record of 1,054.50 won tallied on Jan. 15. (Yonhap News)