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Seoul stocks inch up as foreign investors buy

May 22,2019
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Local stocks inched up Tuesday as foreign investors finally became net buyers, ending an eight-session selling spree. The won gained ground against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 5.54 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 2,061.25. Trading volume was moderate at 516 million shares worth 5.21 trillion won ($4.36 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 466 to 360.

The index started higher in the morning as foreigners net purchased local stocks, believing the trade war between the United States and China would lessen. Yet it eventually ended lower as institutions mass offloaded local stocks from fear over the trade war intensifying.

Foreign investors scooped up a net 74.3 billion won worth of local stocks. Institutions offloaded a net 72.8 billion won, while individuals sold a net 9.3 billion won.

Tech stocks ended mixed. Samsung Electronics rose 2.74 percent to end at 43,150 won, while SK Hynix, a global chipmaker, fell 0.85 percent to 70,300 won. LG Electronics gained 3.40 percent to 72,900 won.

Bio stocks closed mixed as well, with Celltrion falling 3.72 percent to 181,000 won but Samsung BioLogics inching up 0.17 percent to 294,000 won.

Automakers traded in negative terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor down 1.55 percent to 127,000 won and its smaller affiliate, Kia Motors, dipping 3.17 percent to 41,300 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis fell 2.30 percent to 212,000 won.

Mobile carriers also went south. No. 1 telecom company SK Telecom fell 0.96 percent to 258,000 won, and runner-up KT inched down 0.36 percent to 27,350 won. LG U+ plummeted 3.90 percent to 14,800 won.

Naver, the operator of the country’s top Internet portal, shed 3.38 percent to 114,500 won. Leading steelmaker Posco fell 0.64 percent to 233,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 1.90 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 703.98. The index ended higher as institutions mass purchased local stocks in the hopes of the trade war lessening despite seeing Nasdaq shares nosedive overnight.

Continuing to suffer from the Invossa scandal, Kolon TissueGene fell 1.92 percent to 10,200 won. Yet its parent company, Kolon Life Science, gained 2.44 percent to 29,400 won.

The won closed at 1,194.00 won against the dollar, down 0.2 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds lost 1.8 basis points to 1.663 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds fell 1.7 basis points to 1.830 percent.


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