U.S. seeks $700,000 in assets of ex-Korean strongman

Seoul shares close 0.22 pct lower ahead of U.S. data release

Seoul shares close 0.22 pct lower ahead of U.S. data release

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Published : 2013-12-06 16:19
Updated : 2013-12-06 16:19

South Korean stocks closed 0.22 percent lower Friday as investors awaited job data from the United States to be released later in the day, analysts said. The local currency gained against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 4.36 points to 1,980.41. Trading volume was low at 198.5 million shares worth 3.25 trillion won ($3.07 billion) with losers outpacing gainers 435 to 374.

Analysts said investors maintained a wait-and-see approach toward November's U.S. jobs data, which is expected to give investors a glimpse of when the Federal Reserve will commence tapering of its quantitative easing.

"The jobs data scheduled to be announced tonight (Seoul time) is expected to suggest a guideline to the Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting, slated for Dec. 17-18," said Lee Sang-jae, a researcher at Hyundai Securities Co.

Foreigners sold a net 103.6 billion won worth of Seoul shares on the main bourse. Institutions and individuals, on the other hand, scooped up a net 53 billion won and 49.2 billion won, respectively.

Shares closed mixed across the board, with market behemoth Samsung Electronics falling 0.83 percent to 1,428,000 won and flat panel maker LG Display rising 4.91 percent. Top chipmaker SK hynix moved up 3.65 percent.

Carmakers also traded mixed, with No. 1 Hyundai Motor falling 1.08 percent to 230,000 won, while its smaller affiliate Kia Motors added 0.53 percent to 56,800 won. Top auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis shed 2.36 percent to 289,000 won.

Builders mostly lost ground, with Daewoo Engineering & Construction losing 0.62 percent to 8,060 won and Daelim Industrial falling 0.62 percent to 94,700 won. Hyundai Engineering & Construction, meanwhile, climbed 0.16 percent to 62,200 won.

No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom increased 0.89 percent to 226,500 won and its smaller rival KT closed unchanged from the previous trading session at 30,500 won. LG Uplus, the smallest player, added 0.5 percent to 10,050 won.

NAVER, the country's top Internet portal operator, gained 5.03 percent to 710,000 won on rosy prospects for its highly popular mobile messenger service LINE.

The local currency ended at 1,058.00 won to the U.S. dollar, up 1.60 won from Thursday's close, dealers said.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys inched down 0.01 percentage point to 3.00 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds shed 0.03 percentage point to 3.38 percent. (Yonhap News)

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