South Korean stocks closed higher Monday, buoyed by better than expected growth numbers from China for the fourth quarter, analysts said. The Korean won closed lower against the greenback.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 9.30 points, or 0.48 percent, to 1,953.78. Trading volume was low at 273.9 million shares worth 2.83 trillion won ($2.66 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 451 to 357.
Analysts said Seoul shares moved up modestly after Beijing announced GDP growth hitting 7.7 percent in the last three months of 2013, better than the market forecast of 7.6 percent. They said the drop in the bourse on Friday also triggered a technical rebound.
“The numbers coming out of China helped the index in the trading session,” said Kang Hyun-gie, an analyst at I’M Securities & Investment Co. He said, however, that it remains to be seen if the gains can retain momentum.
Foreigners offloaded a net 23.3 billion won, with individual investors also shedding 30.9 billion won worth of shares.
Institutions, on the other hand, bought 52.7 billion won more shares than they sold. (Yonhap News)
Tech shares led the modest gains, with market behemoth Samsung Electronics moving up 1.86 percent to 1,316,000 won, and top chipmaker SK Hynix gaining 2.36 percent to 36,800 won. LG Electronics edged up 0.73 percent to 68,900 won.
Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor moved up 1.09 percent to 231,000 won, and its smaller sister company Kia Motors rose 0.60 percent to 50,600 won. Another affiliate, Hyundai Mobis, the country‘s leading auto parts maker, gained 1.23 percent to 287,000 won.
Shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries gained 1.09 percent to 232,500 won with steelmaker POSCO losing 0.16 percent to 311,000. Financial firms such as Shinhan Financial and KB Financial lost ground, losing 0.46 percent and 0.13 percent lower than Friday’s close. The local currency ended at 1,063.65 won to the U.S. dollar, down 3.95 won from Friday’s close. (Yonhap News)