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Local stocks break losing streak, won gains

Mar 12,2019
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Korean stocks edged up to end their six-day losing streak Monday on bargain hunting, but lingering growth concerns limited the gains, analysts said. The Korean won gained against the greenback.

The benchmark Kospi ticked up 0.66 points, or 0.03 percent, to finish at 2,138.1. Trading volume was light at 272 million shares worth 4.08 trillion won ($3.60 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 476 to 338.

The index swung between losses and gains as foreigners continued to remain net sellers, while retail investors went for bargain hunting following heavy losses last week.

Retail investors and institutions bought a net 89.4 billion won and 16.6 billion won worth of local stocks, respectively, while foreigners dumped 179.3 billion won more than they bought to offset gains.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) last week cut forecasts again for the global economy in 2019 and 2020, citing trade disputes and uncertainty over Brexit. The prolonged trade dispute between the United States and China also cooled down market sentiment.

“The Kospi remains subdued as investors remained worried about global economic growth, moving without a clear direction,” said Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at IBK Securities.

Tech blue chips retreated on tepid memory market prospects. Top market cap Samsung Electronics decreased 0.34 percent to 43,650 won, and chip giant SK Hynix inched down 0.15 percent to 66,600 won. Yet LG Electronics increased 2.17 percent to 75,300 won. Auto shares bounced back following last week’s slump. Top automaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.83 percent to 121,000 won, and its parts maker Hyundai Mobis increased 0.74 percent to 205,500 won. Kia Motors gained 0.74 percent to 33,900 won.

Top cosmetics maker AmorePacific tumbled 4.56 percent to 188,500 won, and No. 3 refiner S-Oil sank 4.05 percent to 92,400 won. Leading chemical firm LG Chem skidded 0.96 percent to 361,000 won.

The Kosdaq rose 3.12 points, or 0.42 percent, to end the session at 739.09. The index ended the five-day losing streak as institutions and foreign sellers offset the earlier decreases in game and entertainment industry shares. YG Entertainment skidded 14.10 percent to 6,100 won. The Korean won was trading at 1,133.7 won against the dollar, down 2.5 won from the previous session.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds gained 0.8 basis point to 1.81 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds added 1.3 basis point to 1.99 percent.


BY KO JUN TAE, YONHAP [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]