Market closes out the week on low note

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Market closes out the week on low note

Korean stocks tumbled to a low for the week yesterday ahead of domestic earnings reports due next week. The won closed higher against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi lost 12.84 points, or 0.66 percent, to 1,944.48. Trading volume was low at 252.7 million shares worth 4.14 trillion won ($3.9 billion), with 428 losers and 347 gainers.

Foreign investors sold a net 100.2 billion won in shares, but the Kospi rose 0.3 percent, to post its first weekly gain of the year.

Banks underperformed, with Hana Financial Group falling 2.5 percent and the Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) 1.6 percent.

Most large-cap shares declined, with market behemoth Samsung Electronics losing 0.69 percent.

Hyundai Motor lost 1.93 percent, SK Hynix edged down 1.5 percent, Korea Electric Power Corporation declined 1.97 percent and Shinhan Financial Holdings shed 1.14 percent. Kia Motors, SK Telecom and KB Financial Group all fell.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Mobis gained 0.71 percent.

By industry, utilities, banks and transportation equipment all fell more than 1 percent.

Banks fell 1.94 percent, utilities 1.9 percent and communications 0.99 percent.

Medical equipment edged up 0.58 percent and food and beverage shares increased 0.18 percent.

The won closed slightly higher, regaining some ground following three days of losses.

“Market participants are holding back on expectations that the dollar-won will trade within a narrow band, while supply and demand is sluggish,” said a local currency dealer.

The won was quoted at 1,059.7 against the dollar, compared to Thursday’s close of 1,063.4.

Korean bonds were little changed on Friday as investors remained on the sidelines in the absence of major cues and ahead of an auction of 10-year government debt next week.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year government bonds ended up 0.2 basis points, while March futures on three-year treasury bonds ended down 0.02 point.


BY KIM JUNG-YOON, REUTERS [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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