Published : 2013-12-10 15:55
Updated : 2013-12-10 15:55
South Korean stocks closed 0.35 percent lower Tuesday as investors sat on the sidelines amid the weak growth momentum in the market, analysts said. The local currency inched up against the U.S. dollar to reach a year-high level.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) moved down 6.93 points to 1,993.45. Trading volume was low at 195.7 million shares worth 2.95 trillion won ($2.8 billion) with losers outpacing gainers 484 to 318.
Analysts said Seoul shares lost ground as investors took a wait-and-see approach amid the weak growth momentum in the market, sparked by the rising concerns over a tapering of U.S. quantitative easing.
"Investors are reluctant to make investments with the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting ahead," said Lim Soo-kyun, a researcher at Samsung Securities Co. "The KOSPI will hover around 2,000 until next week."
The monthly FOMC meeting is slated for Dec. 17-18, and investors remain unsure when the U.S. central bank will commence its economic stimulus cuts.
Monetary easing moves by an advanced country usually cause investors to set their sights on riskier emerging markets, while a reduction leads them to relocate their investments.
Foreigners offloaded 96.4 billion won worth of Seoul shares on the main bourse. In contrast, individual investors and institutions scooped up a net 1.04 billion won and 86.3 billion won, respectively.
Shipbuilders closed mixed, with Hyundai Heavy Industries moving down 0.77 percent to 258,000 won, while Samsung Heavy Industries gained 0.26 percent to 37,950 won. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering declined 2.29 percent to 34,200 won.
Logistics firms also closed mixed, with Hyundai Glovis decreasing 0.45 percent to 220,000 won while CJ Korea Express added 0.55 percent to 91,900 won. Hyundai Merchant Marine plunged 4.22 percent to 9,770 won.
Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor decreased 0.65 percent to 228,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors shed 1.24 percent to 55,900 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis gained 0.69 percent to 293,500 won.
Tech shares closed mostly higher, with top chipmaker SK hynix advancing 0.41 percent to 36,5000 won, and LG Electronics gaining 2.27 percent to 67,600 won. No. 1 Samsung Electronics, however, shed 0.96 percent to 1,440,000 won.
The local currency ended at 1,052.20 won to the U.S. dollar, up 0.8 won from Monday's close, due mainly to abated concerns over the Fed's tapering, dealers said. (Yonhap News)