Shares fall 0.47% on eurozone woes
Korean stocks dropped 0.47 percent Tuesday on rising political uncertainties in Europe and overnight losses on Wall Street, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 9.21 points to close at 1,963.42. Trading volume was heavy at 622 million shares worth 4.97 trillion won ($4.35 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 641 to 206.
"Fiscal woes in Europe fueled political uncertainties on the continent, having a negative impact on the local bourse," said Han Beom-ho, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp. "Worries over corporate earnings put investors on the sidelines."
Cho Byung-hyun, an analyst at Tong Yang Securities Inc., also said the slower-than-expected pace of the U.S. economic recovery is affecting Wall Street's performance, which generally has an impact on the KOSPI.
Others said that investors will likely wait and see what measures are taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee meeting that will decide the direction of its monetary policy.
Steel, heavy industry and chemicals lost ground during the trading session while autos and electronics pulled off gains.
POSCO, the country's No. 1 steelmaker, gave up 0.26 percent to 383,500 won with Hyundai Steel falling 1.96 percent to 100,000 won.
Shares of LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, lost 2.56 percent to 305,000 won.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipmaker, dropped 2.25 percent to 304,500 won, with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. edging down 0.17 percent to 30,200 won.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics, however, added 0.31 percent to close at 1,283,000 won, with top automaker Hyundai Motor also gaining 2.80 percent to 257,000 won.
Kia Motors, South Korea's second-largest carmaker, rose 0.89 percent to 79,300 won, with leading auto parts producer Hyundai Mobis surging 4.12 percent to 290,500 won.
Top builder Hyundai Engineering & Construction moved up 0.14 percent to 72,600 won.
The local currency finished at 1,140.8 won to the greenback, down 1.3 won from Monday's close, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed flat. The yield on three-year Treasuries ended fixed at 3.44 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds held steady at 3.60 percent. (Yonhap)