Shares drop 0.17 % on slowdown woes
Korean stocks edged down 0.17 percent on Wednesday as investors remained jittery over a global economic slowdown, analysts said. The local currency gained against the U.S. dollar.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 3.06 points to finish at 1,826.39. Trading volume was light at 329.9 million shares worth 3.24 trillion won ($2.84 billion), with losers just outpacing gainers 393 to 388.
"The latest decisions made by European political leaders failed to stimulate the market," said analyst Bae Sung-young from Hyundai Securities Co. "Downbeat economic data for the U.S. and China also weighed heavily on the stock market."
Earlier this week, European finance ministers decided to implement bank rescue plans and finalized Spain's bailout, but investors believe the political movements will not immediately boost the market, added Bae.
"Investors sat on the sidelines amid a lack of external momentum," said Lee Young-won, an analyst from HMC Investment Securities Co. "The market is expected to move in a tight range for a while before companies begin to announce their second-quarter earnings later this month."
Foreign investors dumped a net 222.8 billion won, extending their selling streak to three sessions. Institutions also offloaded a net 22.6 billion won of shares, while retail investors scooped up a net 245.3 billion won.
Market heavyweights led the decline. Tech behemoth Samsung Electronics fell 0.8 percent to 1,118,000 won and its smaller memory chip rival SK hynix lost 3.16 percent to close at 22,950 won.
Steelmakers and shipbuilders finished bearish, with market leaders POSCO retreating 1.07 percent to 368,500 won and Hyundai Heavy Industries dropping 2.49 percent to 254,500 won.
Autos and banks finished mixed. Top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 1.1 percent to 225,500 won, while its smaller affiliate Kia Motors inched up 0.14 percent to 73,200 won.
Woori Finance Holdings, the country's biggest banking group by asset, slipped 0.85 percent to 11,600 won but Hana Financial Group climbed 0.85 percent to 35,600 won.
The local currency ended at 1,140.9 won against the greenback, up 2.8 won from Tuesday's close, as offshore investors unloaded their dollar holdings, dealers said.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, finished higher. The yield on three-year Treasuries fell 0.03 percentage point to 3.19 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds dropped 0.03 percentage point to 3.31 percent. (Yonhap)