Seoul shares end lower after BOJ's disappointing decision

Seoul shares end lower after BOJ's disappointing decision

South Korean shares closed lower Friday as investors remained cautious following the disappointing stimulus measures made by the Bank of Japan. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

After choppy trading, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 4.91 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,016.19. Trade volume recorded 361.38 million shares worth 4.96 trillion won ($4.42 billion), with decliners outnumbering advancers 457 to 350

Local shares started higher after the U.S. Federal Reserve on Thursday stood pat on its policy interest rate, leaving the door open for a rate rise sometime later amid improvement in the global economy and financial markets.

But the local shares fell after the BOJ earlier on Friday dashed investors’ hopes for more stimulus, going against the market expectations for such a move.

“There is ample room for the market to further increase on the back of firms’ earnings reports,” said Lee Hyun-joo, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, noting that investors should approach the market with a positive view.

Foreigners scooped up a net 212.7 billion won worth of local stocks, extending their buying binge for 17 sessions in a row.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics jumped 2.12 percent to end at 1,539,000 won. A day earlier, the tech giant reported its biggest quarterly operating profit in more than two years, boosted by robust sales of its latest premium smartphone and cost-cutting efforts.

Auto shares ended down, with top automaker Hyundai Motor shedding 2.94 percent to 132,000 won and top auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis tumbling 5.03 percent to 255,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,120.20 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.20 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed up. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 1.3 basis points to 1.216 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond gained 1.8 basis points to 1.235 percent.


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