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Seoul shares almost flat on lack of market momentum

Seoul shares almost flat on lack of market momentum

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Published : 2013-12-26 15:49
Updated : 2013-12-26 15:49

South Korean stocks closed almost unchanged Thursday as investors took to the sidelines, cautious about buying shares amid a dearth of major market momentum, analysts said. The local currency remained flat against the U.S. dollar.

The country's key stock index, the KOSPI, slipped 2.29 points, or 0.11 percent, to finish at 1,999.30. Trading volume was light at 215 million shares worth 3.16 trillion won ($2.98 billion) with gainers outpacing decliners 405 to 394.

Analysts said investors are not tempted to buy shares as there are no big upside events to push up the market.

"Investors are sitting on the sidelines as the year draws to an end," said Kim Ji-hyung, an analyst at Hanyang Securities. "Also, the Japanese yen's weakness is negatively affecting investor sentiment here."

Steelmakers and financial shares finished in positive terrain, while tech firms, automakers and shipbuilders closed lower.

Top steelmaker POSCO rose 0.9 percent to close at 335,500 won.

No. 3 player Hana Financial gained 0.95 percent to end at 42,350 won, and KB Financial rose 0.73 percent to end at 41,250 won.

But tech shares, automakers and shipbuilders closed lower. Top market cap Samsung Electronics declined 0.49 percent to close at 1,408,000 won, and SK hynix sank 2.04 percent to end at 36,000 won.

Top portal operator Naver dropped 2.72 percent to close at 714,000 won.

Industry leader Hyundai Motor pared 0.22 percent to end at 225,500 won, and its affiliate Kia Motors was down 0.18 percent to close at 55,300 won.

Institutional investors bought a net 635 billion won, while retail investors and foreigners sold a net 614 billion won and 19 billion won, respectively.

The local currency ended at 1,059.30 won against the greenback, unchanged from Tuesday's close. (Yonhap News)

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