The Korea Herald

ssg
소아쌤

Seoul shares close lower on profit taking ahead of earnings season

By Yonhap

Published : Jan. 24, 2024 - 15:58

    • Link copied

An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap) An electronic board showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index at a dealing room of the Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks closed lower Wednesday ahead of the release of earnings reports by major firms. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 8.92 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,469.69.

Trading volume was low at 381.6 million shares worth 7.17 trillion won ($5.36 billion), with losers far outpacing gainers 608 to 271.

Foreigners sold shares worth 24.1 billion won, while retail investors bought a net 103.8 billion won. Institutions sold a net 81.4 billion won.

Analysts said Seoul shares lost ground as investors sought to cash in profits from recent gains, ahead of grim outlook for corporate earnings by top-tier players.

Top tech giant Samsung Electronics fell 1.6 percent to 74,000 won, and SK hynix added 0.5 percent to 141,500 won.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction slid 2.03 percent to 31,400 won due to its lower-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter.

Chemical shares closed higher, with LG Chem advancing 2.43 percent to 400,500 won and oil refiner SK Innovation gaining 2.09 percent to 112,100 won. Amorepacfic shed 0.29 percent to 138,500 won.

Some shares, such as entertainment-related firms, however, gathered ground on the back of the robust performance of US giants, such as Netflix, they added.

"There has been some positive inflow of buyers in shares related with over-the-top media service firms," said Han Ji-young, an analyst from Kiwoom Securities.

Contentree Joongang, an entertainment firm, rose 2.36 percent to 13,010 won, and Hybe gained 1.37 percent to 222,000 won.

The local currency ended at 1,333.7 won against the greenback, down 3.6 won from the previous session's close.