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No-deal Brexit takes a toll on Seoul markets

Aug 30,2019
Korean stocks slipped Thursday as foreign investors sold off local stocks, with sentiment remaining shaky over prospects for trade talks between the United States and China and the risk of a no-deal Brexit. The won depreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi fell 7.68 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 1,933.41. Trade volume was moderate at 279 million shares worth 3.61 trillion won ($2.98 billion).

The local stock market opened higher in line with gains on Wall Street overnight, but pared gains over the cloudy outlook for U.S.-China trade talks and heightened prospects of a no-deal Brexit.

Also, investors took to the sidelines ahead of the Bank of Korea’s monetary policy meeting slated for Friday.

“The local stock market was under pressure over growing concerns that Washington may go ahead with its plan to impose new tariffs against Beijing,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Individuals bought a net 53.2 billion won worth of shares, and foreign investors sold a net 117.3 billion won worth. Institutions bought a net 49 billion won of stocks.

Top cap Samsung Electronics fell 1.7 percent to end at 43,400 won, and SK Hynix, a global chipmaker, remained flat at 73,300 won. LG Electronics decreased 0.83 percent to 59,800 won.

Naver shed 1.02 percent at 145,000 won. Posco fell 1.21 percent to 204,500 won.

Automakers traded mixed, with industry leader Hyundai Motor down 0.78 percent to 126,500 won, and its auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis falling 1.21 percent to 244,000 won. Its smaller affiliate Kia Motors rose 1.4 percent at 43,450 won.

Chemical shares ended mixed as well. LG Chem added 0.31 percent to 325,000 won. Oil refiner SK Innovation went down 0.32 percent to 156,000 won. S-Oil rose 0.66 percent to 90,900 won.

In biopharmaceuticals, Celltrion added 0.64 percent to 157,000 won and Samsung BioLogics shed 4.89 percent to 272,500 won.

The Kosdaq fell 3.33 points, or 0.55 percent, to end the session at 599.57.

The tech-heavy index was dragged down by foreign buying of semiconductor and IT shares despite a rise in Nasdaq Index.

The won closed at 1,216.40 won against the dollar, up 2.5 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.3 basis points to 1.17 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds rose 0.4 basis points to 1.25 percent.

BY KIM HE-YU, YONHAP [kim.heyu@joongang.co.kr]