Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(LEAD) Seoul stocks down from year's highs on profit-taking

All News 16:02 September 07, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks shed 0.23 percent paring earlier gains, as investors sought to lock in recent gains, analysts said. The Korean won rose sharply against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 4.65 points to close at 2,061.88. Trade volume was moderate at 678 million shares worth 4.98 trillion won (US$4.57 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 494 to 304.

The local stock market opened higher as weaker than expected economic data reduced the chance of the U.S. Federal Reserve beginning its rate hike as soon as this month, but caved in to profit-taking by retail and institutional investors in the afternoon session.

The Non-Manufacturing Index, a measurement of the U.S. service sector, registered 51.4 in August, 4.1 percentage points lower than the July reading and falling short of market consensus of 55.0.

The relatively dull data sent the U.S. stocks higher on Tuesday with the tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index hitting a record high, as investors bet that the Fed will hold off its next rate hike, probably to December, rather than raising the rates this month. The Federal Open Market Committee is set to meet on Sept. 20-21.

"Along with weak job data for August, recent U.S. economic data underpin the view that the Fed's rate hike may be delayed," said Lee Jun-hee, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. "Some investors, however, seem to be tempted to cash in recent gains."

Top market cap Samsung Electronics declined 1.34 percent to end at 1,625,000 won, and Korea Electric Power Corp. gained 1.92 percent to end at 58,500 won.

Naver, the top Internet portal operator, jumped 3.44 percent to 872,000 won, and SK hynix, a major chipmaker, fell 0.26 percent to 37,900 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country's top automaker, slid 0.36 percent to 139,000 won.

AmorePacific, the No. 1 cosmetics maker, fell 1.76 percent to 391,000 won.

POSCO, the country's No.1 steelmaker, advanced 0.63 percent to end at 238,500 won.

Hanjin Shipping, the No. 1 container shipper, sank 2.16 percent to end at 1,360 won, after rising by the daily permissible limit of 30 percent the previous day. On Tuesday, its parent Hanjin Group pledged to offer some 100 billion won in financial aid to the embattled shipper.

The local currency closed at 1,090.00 won against the U.S. dollar, up 15.2 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys shed 2.2 basis points to 1.278 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond fell 3.5 basis points at 1.310 percent.


Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!