Shares dip 0.18% on eurozone woes
Korean stocks closed 0.18 percent lower Monday due to persistent European fiscal uncertainties, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
After swerving in and out of positive territory, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 3.40 points to 1,913.73, extending its losing run to four sessions. Trading volume was light at 386 million shares worth 3.97 trillion won ($3.45 billion), with losers clearly outpacing gainers 571 to 280.
"Developments unfolding in Europe's political landscape that could derail fiscal austerity measures weighed down the bourse, although downward rigidity from last week's losses caused the market to hold its ground," said Kwak Byung-ryel, an analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities Co.
This view was echoed by Park Seung-jin, an analyst at Samsung Securities Co., who said the market will react to the planned German-French summit meeting set for Tuesday that will give a clearer picture of how the continent's dept crisis will be handled.
Others, however, said a slowdown in China's inflation helped keep the KOSPI from losing further. China's consumer prices rose 3.4 percent on-year in April, down from a 3.6 percent gain in March.
Shares generally lost ground, although big caps in electronics and autos pulled off gains.
LG Chem, a leading manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, fell 1.26 percent to 274,500 won with Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world's largest shipmaker, giving up 1.35 percent to 256,500 won.
Leading steelmaker POSCO also dropped 0.91 percent to 381,000 won, with top refiner SK Innovation losing 0.69 percent to 143,000 won and state-run power monopoly Korea Electric Power Corp. falling 0.43 percent to 23,000 won.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics, however, added 0.84 percent to 1,314,000 won with top automaker Hyundai Motor closing up 1.01 percent at 250,500 won.
The local currency finished at 1,149.2 won to the U.S. greenback, down 2.6 won from Friday's close, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasuries edged up 0.01 percentage point at 3.38 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds also gained 0.01 percentage point to 3.50 percent. (Yonhap)