Seoul shares slip 0.46% on foreign selling
Published : Jul 21, 2011 - 19:06
Updated : Jul 21, 2011 - 19:06
South Korean stocks ended 0.46 percent lower on Thursday, as foreign investors continued to sell amid persistent concerns related to the U.S. debt ceiling issue and the eurozone debt crisis, analysts said. The local currency climbed against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index retreated 9.91 points to 2,145.04. Trading volume was moderate at 358.6 million shares worth 7.2 trillion won (US$6.9 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 484 to 349.

“Lingering worries on Europe‘s debt crisis and a delay in the U.S. debt ceiling agreement prompted overseas investors to remain net sellers,” said Lim Dong-lak, an analyst at Hanyang Securities Co.

“It’s likely that investors will shun risky assets until uncertainties over the two issues dissipate,” he said.

Foreigners offloaded a net 180.7 billion won worth of shares on Thursday, extending their selling streak to an eighth session.

Blue-chip exporters were among the biggest decliners, as investors sold them on weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world‘s top shipyard, tumbled 5.09 percent to 410,000 won and LG Chem, the country’s largest chemical maker, plunged 6.48 percent to 461,500 won.

The value of shares for Hynix Semiconductor, the world‘s second-largest chipmaker, fell 2.27 percent to 23,650 won after it reported a 34 percent plunge in second-quarter earnings as weak demand for PCs battered memory chip prices.

In contrast, financials outperformed the market. No. 4 player Hana Financial Group gained 1.96 percent to 38,950 won, thanks to rosy second-quarter earnings, which more than doubled from a year earlier on a one-off profit from a stake sale and improved profit margins.

Top steelmaker POSCO added 2.84 percent to 470,000 won and leading polysilicon maker OCI surged 6.93 percent to 409,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,054.6 won to the greenback, up 0.7 won from Wednesday’s close, as the euro surged against the U.S. currency, dealers said. 

(Yonhap News)