Korean stocks closed 0.65 percent lower on Tuesday as oil refiners and auto companies tumbled on economic slowdown fears and concerns over oil price falls, analysts said. The local currency lost ground against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark KOSPI skidded 13.76 points to 2,099.71, extending its losing run to a fourth straight session. Trading volume was light at 243.8 million shares, worth 6.1 trillion won ($5.6 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 511 to 313.
The key index slump came as weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data for May stoked worries over an economic slowdown, adding to global economic woes triggered by euro-zone debt troubles.
“Investors took to the sidelines on growing economic slowdown fears and the local central bank’s interest rate decision scheduled for Friday,” Lim Dong-rak, an analyst at Hanyang Securities, said.
“They are waiting for positive news to drive the stock market, and next week’s May U.S. retail data is likely to serve as a new upward momentum.”
Oil refiners led the losses as analysts predict that the member countries of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may decide to raise their oil production quota at a meeting in Vienna, Austria on Wednesday in order to drive down global oil prices.
Top oil refiner SK Innovation sank 5.79 percent to 219,500 won, falling for the third session in a row. GS Holding, the parent firm for No. 2 refiner GS Caltex, also ended 6.14 percent lower at 82,500 won.