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Seoul shares end flat after heavy trading; phone makers gain
September 13, 2012 / 7:26 AM / 5 years ago

Seoul shares end flat after heavy trading; phone makers gain

* KOSPI eases after hitting near 4-week high
    * Apple suppliers LG Display, SK Hynix lose ground
    * BOK rate decision has little impact; eyes on Fed

    By Hyunjoo Jin
    SEOUL, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Seoul shares finished flat after
a day of heavy trading on Thursday, with caution prevailing
ahead of a possible decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve on
taking further stimulus steps. 
    The Bank of Korea's unexpected move to hold interest rates
steady had little impact on shares. 
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) 
finished up 0.03 percent at 1,950.69 on Thursday after narrowly
missing a 4-week high the previous session. 
    Treading volume reached its highest level in nearly 10 years
at 969 million shares on Thursday, an options expiry day,
according to data from Korea Exchange.
    "The heavy volume may show that investors have mixed
prospects for the Fed decision and its effects," said Kim
Hak-kyun, an analyst at Daewoo Securities, said.
    A Reuters poll showed economists raised their bets on a
third round of Fed bond buying known as quantitative easing (QE)
to 65 percent from 60 percent in August. 
    "Expectations about the Fed meeting have been largely priced
into share prices, and investors want to check its results
rather than making bets," Lee Jae-hoon, an analyst at Mirae
Asset Securities.
    South Korea's central bank unexpectedly held interest rates
steady on Thursday in order to give it more time to assess
whether a euro-zone bond-buying programme will help allay
Europe's financial crisis. 
    Foreign investors continued their buying spree for a fifth
consecutive day.         
    Samsung Electronics gained 0.54 percent and LG
Electronics was up 2.49 percent after Apple's
 iPhone 5, was unveiled on Wednesday and failed to
impress investors. 
    LG Display, a flat-screen supplier to Apple,
lost 1.99 percent, while chip supplier SK Hynix was
down 1.58 percent. 
    "Apple's iPhone 5 is not fun. It is not sexy. It is
unfortunate for Apple to come up with such a phone, but this
does not come as good news to other smartphone makers, either,"
Lee Sun-tae, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said.
    He said that with their lack of innovation, smartphones were
becoming commoditised. This forced manufacturers to spend more
on boosting sales, which hurt margins. 
    
          Move on day                +0.03 percent
          12-month high   2,057.28   14 March 2012 
          12-month low    1,644.11   26 Sept 2011               
          Change on yr               +6.84 percent              
          All-time high   2,231.47   27 April 2011
          All-time low       93.10   6 January 1981

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