Seoul shares close flat on N. Korea concerns
[THE INVESTOR] South Korea’s stock market closed nearly flat on May 16 following rising concerns over the inter-Korean relationship, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.
The benchmark KOSPI edged up 1.28 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,459.82. Trade volume was high at 685 million shares worth 9.73 trillion won (US$9.02 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 660 to 196.
Analysts said while investors sought to scoop up undervalued shares, the growth was limited as they also took a wait-and-see stance over the latest development in the inter-Korean issues.
Foreigners sold a net 4.9 billion won, with retail investors also offloading a net 174 billion won. Institutions were net buyers at 218 billion won.
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics closed 1.32 percent higher at 29,850 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix added 2.84 percent to 87,000 won. LG Electronics advanced 1.02 percent to 96,800 won.
Pharmaceutical shares also traded bullish, with Celltrion adding 0.19 percent to 268,500 won and Samsung BioLogics jumping 6.56 percent to 414,000 won.
Construction companies, on the other hand, closed weaker, with Hyundai Engineering & Construction falling 6.35 percent to 69,300 won and GS Engineering losing 5.53 percent to 44,450 won. Daelim Industrial shed 5.14 percent to 83,000 won.
No. 1 steelmaker POSCO plunged 2.02 percent to 363,000 won, and Hyundai Steel moved down 5.83 percent to 63,000 won.
The local currency closed at 1,077.60 won against the US dollar, down 3.80 won from the previous session.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (email@example.com)