South Korean stocks closed almost flat Friday as profit-taking institutional investors offset foreign buying, analysts said. The South Korean won closed lower against the greenback.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index edged up 1.58 points, or 0.08 percent, to 2,017.17, the highest this year. Trading volume was low at 237.6 million shares worth 3.13 trillion won ($3.06 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 457 to 324.
“While foreign investors are purchasing Seoul shares amid flat growth in the U.S. stock market, the influx is set off by institutional investors who tend to trade for profit when the KOSPI hovers above the 2,000 mark,” said Kang Hyun-gie, an analyst at I’M Investment & Securities Co.
Analysts added the rising uncertainties in Thailand and Ukraine also limited investors’ sentiment for riskier assets. Thailand’s military seized power in a coup earlier this week.
On Thursday, the KOSPI surpassed 2,020 points for the first time in over five months, as upbeat economic reports from the United States and China encouraged investors to bet on riskier assets. It closed at 2015.59.
Foreigners became net buyers of local shares for the ninth consecutive trading session at 126.5 billion won. Individual investors offloaded a net 62.2 billion won and institutional investors bought more shares than they sold at 62.1 billion won. (Yonhap)