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Seoul shares down 0.1 percent amid improving U.S. data

Seoul shares down 0.1 percent amid improving U.S. data

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Published : 2013-12-05 15:31
Updated : 2013-12-05 15:31

South Korean stocks edged down 0.1 percent Thursday as investors were concerned that the improved U.S. economic data may induce its central bank to cut stimulus moves earlier than expected, analysts said. The local currency gained against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 2.03 points to 1,984.77. Trading volume was low at 213.1 million shares worth 3.26 trillion won ($3.07 billion) with losers outpacing gainers 416 to 364.

Analysts said Seoul shares closed lower as investors sat on the sidelines amid rising concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve will commence the tapering of its stimulus moves on the back of its better-than-expected economic data.

"The U.S. Federal Reserve's latest Beige Book shows that the central bank is unlikely to seek a tapering of economic stimulus moves in December," said Lee Sang-jae, a researcher at Hyundai Securities Co.

"However, uncertainties still exist due to (the healthy) economic data," Lee added. "Investors are advised to take a wait-and-see approach until the release of U.S. jobs data, scheduled for Friday."

Foreigners sold a net 320.2 billion won worth of Seoul shares on the main bourse. Institutions and individuals, on the other hand, scooped up a net 58.7 billion won and 255.5 billion won, respectively.

Tech shares closed mostly lower, with top chipmaker SK hynix falling 1.58 percent to 34,250 won and LG Electronics losing 0.75 percent to 65,800 won. Market behemoth Samsung Electronics, in contrast, added 0.56 percent to 1,440,000 won.

Shipbuilders traded bearish, with Hyundai Heavy Industries moving down 0.59 percent to 254,500 won, and Samsung Heavy Industries falling 1.05 percent to 37,600 won. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering declined 1.61 percent to 33,650 won.

Builders also continued to lose ground, with Hyundai Engineering & Construction moving down 0.16 percent to 62,100 won and Daewoo Engineering & Construction decreasing 1.7 percent to 8,110 won. Daelim Industrial shed 0.84 percent to 95,000 won.

The local currency ended at 1,059.60 won to the U.S. dollar, up 0.90 won from Wednesday's close, dealers said. (Yonhap News)

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