Published : 2013-12-30 15:33
Updated : 2013-12-30 15:33
South Korean stocks closed 0.45 percent higher on Monday, the last trading day of the year, as gains of bank shares and automakers propped up the market, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
After trading in a tight range, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 9.06 points to 2,011.34. Trading volume was moderate at 167.8 million shares worth 3.17 trillion won ($3.01 billion) with gainers outpacing losers 494 to 311.
"Amid thin trading, the local stock market gained ground on expectations for next year, when the global economy may pick up,"
said Han Beom-ho, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp. "The pace of the yen's weakness remained a concern for exporters for next year."
Institutional and foreign investors remained net buyers of local stocks. Foreigners bought a net 107.7 billion won worth of Seoul shares on the main bourse.
Tech shares traded in negative territory. Market leader Samsung Electronics fell 1.72 percent to 1,372,000 won, and consumer electronics maker LG Electronics shed 0.29 percent to 68,100 won.
But bank shares and carmakers propped up the market. Industry leader Woori Finance rose 3.91 percent to 13,300 won, and its rival KB Financial Group gained 2.18 percent to 42,250 won.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 3.05 percent to 236,500 won, and its affiliate Kia Motors inched up 0.36 percent to 56,100 won.
The local currency ended at 1,055.40 won to the greenback, down
1.5 won from Friday's close, as the current account surplus narrowed in November from the previous month, dealers said.
The Korean currency appreciated against the yen by breaching a psychologically important level of 1,000 won for the first time in five years in the morning session.
The local currency was trading at 1,001.50 won per 100 yen as of 3:13 p.m., up 0.44 won from Friday's close. The greenback serves as the benchmark for the won-yen cross rate. (Yonhap News)