07.22 Mon


Worries about U.S. tariffs cause bourse to slide

Aug 03,2018
Korean stocks closed lower Thursday amid reports that the United States is mulling whether to slap stronger tariffs on Chinese goods, casting doubt over the ongoing negotiations between the two countries. The Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi fell 36.87 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 2,270.20. Trade volume was moderate at 4.93 trillion won ($4.37 billion).

Analysts said Seoul shares closed lower, as investor sentiment was hurt by reports that the Donald Trump administration is considering imposing a whopping 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

“The concern over the trade dispute between the United States and China has weighed on investor sentiment, and is having an adverse impact on the Korean stock market,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Institutions sold a net 375 billion won. Foreigners offloaded a net 48 billion won, while retail investors scooped up a net 373 billion won.

Market leader Samsung Electronics lost 2.15 percent to 45,550 won and SK Hynix moved down 2.8 percent to 83,200 won. LG Electronics slipped 0.27 percent to 75,100 won.

Financial shares closed bearish, with KB Financial Group losing 2.6 percent to 52,500 won and Shinhan Financial Group decreasing 1.73 percent to 42,550 won. Samsung Life Insurance lost 1.14 percent to 95,500 won.

Carmakers were also among the major losers, with Hyundai Motor falling 2.33 percent to 125,500 won and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors slipping 2.2 percent to 31,050 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis slipped 2.19 percent to 223,500 won.

Mobile carriers closed higher. SK Telecom moved up 2.43 percent to 253,000 won and KT increased 1.59 percent to 28,800 won. LG U+ added 1.94 percent to 15,800 won.

Pharmaceutical firms traded mixed, with Celltrion adding 0.36 percent to 281,500 won, while Samsung BioLogics fell 1.31 percent to 378,000 won.

T’way Air, which debuted on the market on Wednesday, closed 0.43 percent higher at 11,600 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 8.87 points, or 1.12 percent, to 781.38. Institutional and foreign investors took profits, dragging down the tech-heavy index.

The Korean won closed at 1,126.10 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.50 won from Wednesday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.1 basis points to 2.11 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds lost 1.5 basis points to 2.57 percent.

BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]
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