Shares close out the week on a flat note

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Shares close out the week on a flat note

Seoul shares closed almost flat yesterday. The won declined 0.3 percent to 1,090.46 per dollar in Seoul, taking the loss this week to 0.5 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, rose 21 basis points, or 0.21 percentage point, to 6.98 percent.

The benchmark Kospi edged up 1.61 points, or 0.08 percent, to finish at 2006.01.

It slightly fell below 2,000 during the trading day, but gained back as strong buying flocked to market shortly before the trading ended.

Analysts at securities firms cited inflow of fund redemptions, as well as the greater risks of North Korea as the bearish market during the trade and the obstacle to Kospi index.

Trading volume was low at 301.5 million shares worth 3.37 trillion won ($3.09 billion) with gainers overtaking losers 442 to 342. Foreigners sold off a net 16.8 billion won worth of local stocks, and retail investors offloaded a net 73.5 billion won. Institutional investors posted a 89.9 billion won of net purchase.

Tech and auto shares weighed, with heavyweight Samsung Electronics declining 1.4 percent to close at 1.49 million won as foreign investors offloaded their shares on the market behemoth, while Hyundai Motor fell 1.2 percent to 213,500 won. The automaker’s main affiliate Kia Motors retreated 1.11 percent to close at 53,300 won.

Other tech shares gathered ground with the country’s top chipmaker SK Hynix rising 0.36 percent to 28,250 won and flat panel producer LG Display advancing 0.32 percent to 31,600 won.

Financial shares were up with Woori Financial Group gaining 1.56 percent to close at 13,050 won and Hana Financial Group up 1.48 percent to close at 41,200 won. Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) inched 0.53 percent to close at 7,640 won. The bank, however, is swirled in a controversy over its dividend payment. The bank, which excluded its largest shareholder Hana Financial Group on its dividend payout on Tuesday, reversed the decision on the following day. Earlier Hana announced of increasing its stakesholding in KEB from current 60 percent to 100 percent through share swap.

By Kim Jung-yoon, Bloomberg []
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