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Seoul: Stocks tumble for 4th session; won weakens

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares fell for the fourth consecutive session on Friday as gains on Wall Street failed to inspire investors in the Asian trading day, with worries about local earnings worsening.

The main KOSPI index tumbled 1.75 per cent, or 36.13 points, to end at 2,027.17, leading to a cumulative decline of 6.2 per cent over the four sessions.

On a weekly basis, the index fell 5.99 per cent to mark the fourth straight weekly loss.

"Earnings released so far were disappointing, except for chipmakers and some financial companies, and this is causing worries about the companies due to report their performance soon," said Rhoo Yong-seok, an analyst at KB Securities.

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On Thursday, the country's biggest carmaker Hyundai Motor announced a near 70 per cent drop in its third-quarter net profit, sending its stocks to almost nine-year lows.

On Friday, chemical shares fell sharply on concerns that US tariffs on Chinese goods would demand from China for Korean exports. LG Chem and Lotte Chemical Corp fell 4.6 per cent each.

Foreigners were net sellers of 178 billion won worth of shares, while local institutions bought 131.9 billion won worth of shares.

The junior Kosdaq index ended 3.5 per cent lower.

The country's won was quoted at 1,141.9 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform at the end of the session, down 0.34 per cent from the previous close at 1,138.0.

On a weekly basis, the won weakened 0.86 per cent against the dollar, marking the fourth straight session of depreciation. From the beginning of this month, it has dropped 2.9 per cent.

The dollar has risen 7.2 per cent against the won this year. The won's high for the year is 1,053.55 per dollar on April 2 2018 and low is 1,146.26 on Oct. 11.

In money and debt markets, December futures on three-year treasury bonds rose 0.07 points to 108.71.

The Korean three-month Certificate of Deposit benchmark rate was quoted at 1.7 per cent, while the benchmark three-year Korean treasury bond yielded 1.954 per cent, lower than the previous day's 1.98 per cent.

REUTERS