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Investors take some profits, Kospi dips 0.12%

Apr 18,2019
Korean stocks finished slightly lower Wednesday as investors opted to cash in recent gains following a bullish run, analysts said.

The Korean won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi inched down 2.74 points, or 0.12 percent, to close at 2,245.89. Trading volume was moderate at 445 million shares worth 5.42 trillion won ($4.77 billion).

Analysts said Seoul shares closed slightly lower as investors sought to lock in some recent gains after the index closed higher for the 13th consecutive session on Tuesday.

“Investor sentiment itself is not weak, with Wall Street closing higher on the back of robust performances of listed firms,” Lee Yong-gon, a researcher from Hana Financial Investment, said. The analyst said Wednesday’s decline was part of a correction after a bullish run.

Individuals sold a net 59.6 billion won worth of stocks and foreign investors bought a net 75.6 billion won worth of shares. Institutions sold a net 1.2 billion won of stocks.

Samsung Electronics shed 0.42 percent to 47,050 won, and SK Hynix lost 0.25 percent to 80,200 won. LG Electronics fell 2.57 percent to 75,900 won, and LG Display slipped 0.69 percent to 21,700 won.

Pharmaceutical firms were mixed. Celltrion added 0.24 percent to 208,500 won while Hanmi Pharmaceutical decreased 0.35 percent to 430,500 won. Samsung BioLogics rose 0.68 percent to 369,000 won.

Carmakers closed higher. Hyundai Motor added 1.95 percent to 131,000 won and Hyundai Mobis advanced 2 percent to 229,500 won. Kia Motors moved up 1.2 percent to 42,300 won.

Financial firms closed lower, with Shinhan Financial sliding 0.33 percent to 45,550 won and KB Financial edging down 0.32 percent to 46,150 won.

Shares of Asiana Airlines moved down 15.74 percent to 7,120 won, ending sharp increases in the past few days following its parent firm’s announcement that it will sell its stake in the country’s No. 2 air carrier. Its bigger rival Korean Air moved up 0.14 percent to 35,900 won.

The Kosdaq rose 1.87 points, or 0.24 percent, to end the session at 766.89. The tech-heavy index was lifted by foreign buying of semiconductor shares and a 3.2 percent rise in Philadelphia Semiconductor Index overnight.

The won closed at 1,134.80 won against the dollar, down 0.90 won from the previous session.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 1.3 basis points to 1.78 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds rose 1.5 basis points to 1.95 percent.

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