(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)
SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks finished sharply lower Tuesday, as investors remained wary of rising geopolitical tension stemming from North Korea's missile launch, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.
After a choppy session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 13.96 points, or 0.58 percent, to close at 2,380.52 as uncertainties surrounding North Korea caused investors to cash in recent gains.
Trade volume was moderate at 380 million shares worth 4.75 trillion won (US$4.13 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 582 to 216.
The local stock market opened flat despite overnight gains on Wall Street, as investors took to the sidelines ahead of Samsung's second-quarter earnings guidance release.
"Ahead of Samsung's earnings guidance report, investors are taking a wait-and-see stance," said Lee Kyong-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.
In the afternoon session, the market sentiment was dampened after Pyongyang said it would make an 'important announcement' at 3 p.m. (Pyongyang time) after it launched a ballistic missile earlier in the day.
After the market closed, the North claimed it has successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Analysts said the KOSPI has risen for the seventh consecutive month, which means that a profit-taking stance may take hold among investors.
Samsung Electronics, the top market cap here, fell 0.47 percent to end at 2,350,000 won, and SK hynix, a major chipmaker, dropped 0.75 percent to 65,800 won on profit-taking.
POSCO, the top steelmaker, declined 1.36 percent to end at 291,000 won, and SK Innovation, the top refiner in the country, fell 0.62 percent to end at 160,000 won.
Hyundai Motor, the No. 1 automaker, declined 3.06 percent to end at 158,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors slid 1.81 percent to 38,000 won.
In contrast, utility and banking stocks remained bullish.
The state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. gained 1.47 percent to finish at 41,300 won.
Shinhan Financial Group, the most profitable banking group, advanced 0.71 percent to 49,900 won, with KB Financial remaining flat at 57,800 won.
LG Display, a major flat panel maker, jumped 5.34 percent to end at 38,500 won.
The local currency closed at 1,150.60 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.7 won from the previous session's close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 2.4 basis points to 1.740 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 2.8 basis points to 1.949 percent.
Japanese Embassy sends back Moon's New Year gift over Dokdo image box
(LEAD) Daily cases bounce to over 7,000 for 1st time in month amid omicron woes
Auto exports up 8.6 pct in 2021 on popularity of eco-friendly cars
Moon holds phone talks with Abu Dhabi crown prince, voices condolences over attack victims
23 shippers fined 96.2 bln won for collusion on freight rates
U.S., 7 other nations urge full implementation of N. Korea sanctions
(LEAD) Thousands of Buddhist monks hold rally to demand apology from president for 'anti-Buddhist bias'
'Kim Ji-young, Born 1982,' most-sold S. Korean literary book overseas
(3rd LD) N. Korea says it confirmed accuracy of tactical guided missiles in test-firing
(LEAD) Daily cases jump to over 5,000 for 1st time in 20 days amid omicron woes
(LEAD) Moon calls for swift shift to new response measures to cope with omicron
(LEAD) New COVID-19 cases above 7,000 for 3rd day amid persistent omicron fears
New COVID-19 cases above 7,000 for 3rd day amid persistent omicron fears
S. Korea to restore gateway of ancient Egyptian temple in Luxor
Biz hour curbs cause largest drop in in-person spending among all measures: BOK report