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Seoul index slips as investors cash out

Feb 25,2017
Seoul’s main bourse fell on Friday as investors cashed in on the four-session earning streak. The index fell below 2,100 for the first time in three days.

The strengthened won prompted major losses from large-cap, export shares including semiconductors and steel.

“Profit-taking by investors on technology stocks, such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, was to blame for losses in the main index,” confirmed Kim Ye-eun, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

The Kospi closed at 2,094.12, down 13.51 points, or 0.64 percent from a day earlier.

Foreign investors contributed to the index’s decline, offloading 122.6 billion won ($108.4 million) in shares. Institutional and retail investors thwarted a further decline as they each net bought 67.2 billion won and 6.7 billion won.

Semiconductors were weak, losing 2.4 percent. Hardware companies shed 2.2 percent while steel lost 2.1 percent. On the contrary, automobile shares rose 0.9 percent.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 2.45 percent and hit a week low of 1,911,000 won. SK Hynix plummeted 5.38 percent to close at 47,500 won. Posco retreated 4.11 percent to 280,000 won. Lotte Chemical lost 4.48 percent to 362,500 won.

Among gainers, AmorePacific jumped 6.4 percent to 307,500 won on Friday as LG Household and Health Care rose 3.95 percent to 868,000 won. The two cosmetics leaders both hit their highest closing price in nearly two weeks after previous concerns about China’s restrictions on Korean products. Confectionery Orion also posted its highest level since November, closing up 5.96 percent to 729,000 won Friday.

The secondary Kosdaq closed down 2.92 points, or 0.47 percent from the previous session, to 614.75 as institutional investors net bought mainly IT shares.

Pharmaceutical firm Celltrion slipped 0.79 percent to 100,700 won and Medytox shed 0.83 percent to 417,900 won. Kakao climbed 0.23 percent to 88,100 won and CJ E&M rose 2.37 percent to 82,000 won.

The Korean won strengthened 0.5 percent to 1,131.5 versus the dollar. The yield for the three-year government bonds fell one basis point to 1.67 percent and the 10-year yield fell three basis points to 2.18 percent.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON, BLOOMBERG [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]