Shares end almost flat on lingering eurozone woes
Korean stocks closed effectively unchanged Thursday as lingering eurozone concerns canceled out overnight U.S. gains, analysts said. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) edged up just 0.10 percent, or 2.06 points, to close at 1,964.04. Trading volume was moderately heavy at 597 million shares worth 5.26 trillion won ($4.62 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 534 to 301.
"Investor sentiment was hurt by lingering concerns about the global economy," said Han Beom-ho, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.
Seo Dong-pil, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities, also said autos and electronics helped bolster the market, but on the whole, there was no real upward momentum.
Electronics and auto companies gathered ground, with construction, shipbuilding and financial posting losses.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 2.68 percent to close at 1,340,000 won, with top automaker Hyundai Motor also gaining a solid 1.75 percent to 262,000 won.
Shares of LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, gained 0.49 percent to 305,500 won, with Hyundai Mobis moving up 0.85 percent to 295,500 won.
POSCO, the country's No. 1 steelmaker, however, lost 0.65 percent to 382,000 won, with Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipmaker, dropping 3.49 percent to 290,500 won.
Kia Motors, South Korea's second-largest carmaker, lost 0.38 percent to 79,600 won, while Hyundai Engineering & Construction dipped 0.28 percent to 70,100. Top life insurer Samsung Life Insurance fell 0.60 percent to 99,100 won.
The local currency finished at 1,136.2 won to the greenback, up 5.1 won from Wednesday's close, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed flat. The yield on three-year Treasuries ended fixed at 3.49 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds held steady at 3.62 percent. (Yonhap)