South Korean stocks closed nearly flat Monday as investors took a wait-and-see stance on second-quarter earnings of listed firms, although Samsung Electronics closed higher on its robust performance estimate, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index edged up 2.23 points, or 0.09 percent, to close at 2,382.10. Trade volume was low at 277.3 million shares worth 4.87 trillion won ($4.23 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 583 to 234.
Analysts said many investors carefully watched the second-quarter earnings of listed firms.
"Except for information-technology shares, the second-quarter consensus is being downgraded," said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daeshin Investment & Securities, adding concerns over non-IT sectors may escalate down the road.
Samsung Electronics closed 1.67 percent higher at 2,433,000 won. Last week, the South Korean tech giant said its second-quarter operating profit shot up nearly 72 percent on-year to post a record-high quarterly level at 14 trillion won.
No. 2 SK hynix also increased 1.05 percent to 67,300 won.
Carmakers were major losers, with No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor falling 2.31 percent to 148,000 won and top auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis losing 1.02 percent to 243,000 won. Kia Motors shed 1.61 percent to 36,700 won.
Steelmakers closed mixed, with top player POSCO advancing 1.35 percent to 300,000 won, while Hyundai Steel shed 0.49 percent to 61,300 won. Korea Zinc moved up 0.44 percent to 460,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,149.50 won against the US dollar, up 4.8 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)