South Korean stocks closed 1.34 percent lower Friday as investor sentiment was dented by weaker-than-expected corporate earnings results, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index declined 26.68 points to 1,971.66. Trading volume was light at 201.7 million shares worth 3.6 trillion won ($3.46 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 569 to 230.
“The earnings results were not a shock, but corporate bottom lines were mostly weak, weighing on the market,” said Bae Sung-young, an analyst at Hyundai Securities Co. “As foreign investors became net sellers of stocks in the afternoon, the falls in the KOSPI expanded.”
Institutional and foreign investors unloaded local stocks, which increased the KOSPI’s fall in late trading. Foreign investors sold a net 48.8 billion won worth of Seoul stocks on the main bourse.
Local shares lost ground across the board, led by falls in automakers, refiners and electricity shares.
Top automaker Hyundai Motor declined 2.48 percent to 236,000 won after it said Thursday that its first-quarter earnings dipped 2.9 percent on-year to 2.03 trillion won. No. 2 carmaker Kia Motors shed 1.21 percent to 57,300 won even as it said its first-quarter earnings jumped 11.8 percent on-year to 876.3 billion won.
Power monopoly Korea Electric Power Corp. declined 3.95 percent to 38,900 won, and SK Innovation Co., the owner of top refiner SK Energy Co., fell 2.43 percent to 120,500 won due to its weak earnings.
Bank shares also traded in negative territory. Top banking group Woori Finance fell 2.06 percent to 11,900 won, and its rival KB Financial Group lost 0.97 percent to 35,800 won.
Wall Street closed mixed on Thursday on solid corporate earnings results. The Dow Jones industrial average ended flat, and the tech-laden Nasdaq composite index added 0.52 percent.
The local currency ended at 1,041.50 won to the greenback, down 2.3 won from Thursday’s close as foreign investors sold local stocks, dealers said. (Yonhap)