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Seoul shares hit 4-month low amid won's further fall

2016/01/12 15:40

SEOUL, Jan. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended lower Tuesday amid continued jitters in the Chinese stock market. The local currency further lost ground against the U.S. dollar.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 3.98 points, or 0.21 percent, to close at 1,890.86, the lowest since Sept. 8, 2015. Trade volume was slim at 290.8 million shares worth 3.78 trillion won (US$3.12 billion), with losers beating winners 498 to 313.

The decline was partly attributed to the lingering effects of China's recent stock market rout.

"The stock market appears to have been somewhat stabilized with no visible problems in fundamentals. The main problem is coming from the weak foreign exchange rate causing an outflow of foreign capital," said Kim Sung-hwan, a researcher at Bookook Securities.

Foreigners remained net sellers for four consecutive trading days, offloading 240.74 billion won worth of local shares.

Retail investors purchased a net 146.75 billion won, while institutions scooped up a net 19.19 billion won.

Market heavyweights traded mixed amid an apparent lack of leads.

Top market cap Samsung Electronics lost 0.52 percent to finish at 1,146,000 won, with top automaker Hyundai Motor sliding 0.36 percent to 139,500 won.

Top portal operator Naver added 3.5 percent to end at 650,000 won, but global chipmaker SK hynix plunged 2.97 percent to finish at 27,800 won.

The local currency further weakened against the U.S. dollar, in tandem with the recent depreciation of the Chinese yuan, Kim noted.

The South Korean currency closed at 1,210.30 won against the greenback Tuesday, down 0.50 won from the previous session's close and the lowest level since July 19, 2010.