Shares fall 1.26% on weak US economic data
Korean stocks fell 1.26 percent on Friday due to disappointing U.S. job and technology sector data and eurozone concerns, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 25.21 points to close at 1,974.65. Trading volume was moderate at 508 million shares worth 4.74 trillion won ($4.14 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 602 to 247.
"Weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data related to the labor and housing markets and the technology sector is weighing down the local stock market," said Lim Dong-rak, an analyst at Hanyang Securities. "Lingering uncertainties surrounding Spain's fiscal crisis are affecting investor sentiment."
Others such as Lee Sang Jae, a senior economist at Hyundai Securities Co., said the latest economic figures coming out of the U.S. are fueling worries about second-quarter growth in the world's largest economy.
Such developments exert negative influence on the South Korean bourse, which generally mirrors stock market trends on Wall Street, analysts said.
Shares fell across the board, with life insurance firms managing to pull off modest gains.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 1.91 percent to close at 1,282,000 won, with top automaker Hyundai Motor tumbling 2.12 percent during the trading session to 254,000 won.
Shares of Hyundai's affiliate Kia Motors dipped 0.12 percent to 79,900 won, with LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, dropping 9.21 percent to 315,500 won.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipmaker, fell 0.79 percent to 312,000 won, with Hyundai Engineering & Construction losing 2.24 percent to finish at 74,200 won.
POSCO, the country's No. 1 steelmaker, gave up 0.39 percent to 378,500 won with Hyundai Steel also losing 2.91 percent to 100,000 won.
However, top life insurer Samsung Life Insurance, gained 2.65 percent to 97,000 won.
The local currency finished at 1,139.5 won to the greenback, down 1.4 won from Thursday's close, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasuries declined 0.01 percentage point to 3.43 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds fell 0.03 percentage point to 3.59 percent. (Yonhap)