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Chips’ weakness pulls Kospi down slightly

June 14,2019
Korean stocks closed lower on Thursday as market heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics came under heavy selling pressure on a dim outlook for the chip-making sector. The won depreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi shed 5.6 points, or 0.27 percent, to close at 2,103.15. Trade volume was moderate at 544 million shares worth 5.9 trillion won ($4.9 billion).

“The gloomy outlook for chipmakers prodded investors to unload Samsung and SK Hynix,” Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said.

Individuals bought a net 132.3 billion won worth of shares and foreign investors sold a net 165.8 billion won worth. Institutions bought a net 53.3 billion won of stocks.

Top cap Samsung Electronics moved down 1.91 percent to 43,750 won, and SK Hynix, a global chipmaker, lost 3.35 percent to 63,500 won. LG Electronics fell 0.12 percent to 81,900 won, and LG Display remained unchanged at 17,100 won.

SK Innovation remained unchanged at 161,500 won, and S-Oil shed 0.12 percent to 83,100 won. Posco fell 1.44 percent to 240,000 won.

Automakers ended mixed. Industry leader Hyundai Motor was unchanged at 141,000 won, while its smaller affiliate Kia Motors lost 2.92 percent to 41,550 won.

Bio shares closed mixed as well, with Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, adding 2.76 percent to end at 316,500 won. Major bio firm Celltrion was up 1.47 percent to 207,000 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical decreased 0.73 percent to 409,500 won.

Shares of LG Chem, Korea’s top chemicals company, jumped 3.56 percent to 349,000 won as it will establish an electric vehicle (EV) battery joint venture with Geely Automobile Holdings in China. Lotte Chemical remained unchanged at 258,000 won.

Shares of mobile carriers were mixed, with SK Telecom rising 0.97 percent to 259,500 won and rival KT increasing 0.18 percent to 28,150 won. Shares of smaller mobile carrier LG U+ remained unchanged at 14,600 won.

The Kosdaq rose 2.36 points, or 0.33 percent, to end the session at 726.68. The tech-heavy index was lifted by foreign buying of IT shares and a 0.4 percent fall in Nasdaq Biotechnology Index overnight.

The won closed at 1,183.1 won against the dollar, up 0.50 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 1.1 basis points to 1.48 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds rose 1.3 basis points to 1.61 percent.

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