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Stocks fall on Trump’s ‘no deadline’ comment

Dec 05,2019
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Shares ended lower for the second straight session on Wednesday as increased uncertainties over a U.S.-China trade deal sapped investor confidence, with foreign investors extending their selling spree to a 20th consecutive day. The won fell sharply against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi lost 15.18 points, or 0.73 percent, to 2068.89.

Foreigners sold a net 375 billion won ($314 million) worth of stocks. Institutional investors purchased a net 31 billion won worth of stocks.

Uncertainties surrounding the U.S.-China trade talks will continue to weigh on investor sentiment without a clear breakthrough in the offing, analysts said. The two countries are also the two largest trading partners of Korea.

Foreigners appeared to have offloaded stocks to “avoid risks over uncertainties” following U.S. President Donald Trump’s “no deadline” comment, according to Choi Yoo-june, an analyst at Shinhan Investment.

The Trump administration signaled that the United States intends to impose tariffs on Chinese goods if no deal is signed before the mid-December deadline. Trump said he doesn’t mind waiting another year before striking an agreement with China, putting investors in a selling mood.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board.

Samsung Electronics fell 0.9 percent to 49,450 won, and SK Hynix, a major chipmaker, shed 1.27 percent to 77,700 won.

Among the gainers, carmaker Hyundai Motor rose 0.41 percent to 122,000 won, and Hyundai Mobis climbed 0.6 percent to 249,500 won. But Kia Motors tumbled 0.12 percent to 42,950 won.

On Wednesday, Hyundai announced its plan to invest 61 trillion won in its existing car manufacturing and in future mobility technologies by 2025 to enhance corporate competitiveness and shareholder value.

State-run utility Korea Electric Power gained 2.63 percent to reach 29,250 won, and Korean Air Lines shed 0.82 points to 24,250 won. Steelmaker Posco was down 1.73 percent to 227,000 won.

Naver gained 1.45 percent to close at 174,500 won while Kakao dipped 0.64 percent at 156,000.

The Kosdaq dropped 4.31 points, or 0.68 percent, to close at 625.27.

The local currency closed at 1194.30 won against the dollar, up 7.10 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, traded in a positive terrain. The yield on three-year bonds 5.5 basis points to 1.407 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds dropped 10.4 basis points to 1.71 percent.

BY KIM BYUNG-WOOK, YONHAP [kim.byungwook@joongang.co.kr]