South Korean stocks dropped 1.6 percent Wednesday as investors fretted over a slowdown in the Chinese economy and political tensions in Ukraine, analysts said.
The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 31.33 points to 1,932.54. Trading volume was moderate at 316 million shares worth 4.12 trillion won ($3.85 billion), and losers outnumbered gainers 653 to 165.
China, South Korea’s largest trading partner, said over the weekend that its exports unexpectedly fell last month, stoking worries that a slowdown in the world’s No. 2 economy may hurt earnings of major firms here.
“Investors’ concerns over China are continuing,” said Kang Song-chul, a market analyst at Korea Investment Corp. “For the time being, the local stock market may be stuck in a tight range amid dearth of positive catalysts.”
Analysts said a set of data coming from China this week, including industrial output and retail sales, may provide a clearer picture of the Chinese economy.
Tech shares, shipbuilders and steelmakers led the overall market decline.
Top market cap Samsung Electronics fell 2.12 percent to finish at 1,294,000 won, and SK Hynix, a leading chipmaker, dropped 0.93 percent to end at 37,400 won. (Yonhap)