Seoul stocks up slightly amid Syria woes
[THE INVESTOR] Korean stocks edged up slightly on April 16 as investors took to the sidelines amid lingering geopolitical concerns over Syria and ahead of the corporate earnings season. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark KOSPI gained 2.42 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 2,457.49. Trade volume was slim at 338.97 million shares worth 6.08 trillion won (US$5.66 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 414 to 389.
Retail investors bought a net 62.65 billion won worth of local stocks, offsetting the selling by foreign investors and institutions, which shed a net 38.04 billion won and 11.15 billion won worth of local stocks, respectively.
Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics moved up 1.08 percent to 2,517,000 won, and top carmaker Hyundai Motors surged 1.66 percent to 153,000 won, buttressing the index.
But chemicals and steelmakers lost ground. POSCO fell 0.76 percent to 325,000 won, and LG Chem skidded 2.14 percent to 365,000 won.
Bio shares were also mixed, with Celltrion, a major pharmaceutical firm, soaring 1.9 percent to 295,500 won, while Samsung Biologics, Samsung‘s health care unit, decreased 0.53 percent to 567,000 won.
Korean Air, the nation’s No. 1 airline, tumbled 2.5 percent to 33,100 won, as a police probe is under way into suspicions that its senior executive, Cho Hyun-min, committed violence by hurling water into the face of an advertising firm employee last month.
Securities and banks lost ground on profit-taking by investors following a bullish run in the previous session. NH Investment & Securities fell 1.03 percent to 14,450 won, and major commercial lender Woori Bank tumbled 1.32 percent to 14,950 won.
The local currency closed at 1,074 won against the US dollar, down 4.50 won from the previous session’s close.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)