Seoul shares edge up

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Mar 13, 2014 - 20:59
  • Updated : Mar 13, 2014 - 20:59
South Korean stocks rose 0.1 percent Thursday as investors went bargain hunting following the previous session’s dip of more than 1.5 percent, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index gained 1.84 points to hit 1,934.38. Trading volume was moderate at 256 million shares worth 4.35 trillion won ($4.06 billion), and gainers outnumbered losers 501 to 307.

With the dearth of major market catalysts, investors opted to buy oversold shares, although the rise was seen as a technical rebound given persisting woes over a slowdown in the Chinese economy, according to the analysts.

China reported an unexpected fall in exports last month. A slowdown in the world’s No. 2 economy, also South Korea’s largest trading partner, has stoked worries that it will hurt earnings of major firms here.

“Following yesterday’s sharp fall, investors began to pursue bargain hunting,” said Kim Ji-hyung, a market analyst at Hanyang Securities. “But a sharp rebound is unlikely down the road due to lingering woes over China and political instability in Ukraine.

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.

Foreigners extended their selling binge to the fourth consecutive session with a net selling of 480 billion won.

Tech shares, telecoms, and steelmakers led the overall market rise.

SK Hynix, a leading chipmaker, rose 1.74 percent to end at 38,050 won. Naver, the operator of the country’s top Internet portal, surged 3.08 percent to end at 837,000 won.

Telecom shares also remained in positive terrain. Leading mobile carrier SK Telecom gained 1.72 percent to end at 207,000 won, and No. 2 KT rose 2.47 percent to finish at 29,000 won.

Top market cap Samsung Electronics, however, suffered a 0.31 percent fall to finish at 1,290,000 won. Autos and shipbuilders, in contrast, also declined.

Industry leader Hyundai Motor shed 2.76 percent to end at 229,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors fell 1.62 percent to close at 48,000 won.

The world’s top shipbuilder, Hyundai Heavy Industries, declined 0.72 percent to end at 206,000 won, with Samsung Heavy Industries down 2.44 percent to 29,950 won.

The local currency ended at 1,069.05 won to the greenback, up 1.35 won from Wednesday’s close. (Yonhap)