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Stocks fall on foreign, institutional sales

May 13,2017
Korean stocks ended slightly lower Friday on increased selling by foreigners and institutions. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi shed 10.35 points, or 0.45 percent, to end at 2,286.02

Bae Sung-young, a market analyst at KB Securities said foreigners and institutions offloaded stocks in apparent profit-taking, which were to blame for losses on the main bourse.

Institutions shed more than 105 billion won ($93 million) in local stocks and foreigners sold a net 303.7 billion worth.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.7 percent to 2,291,000 won, and state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corporation was up 0.46 percent to 43,250 won.

Samsung Life Insurance advanced 1.29 percent to 118,000 won and mobile carrier SK Telecom inched up 0.21 percent to 236,000 won.

Meanwhile, No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix fell 1.95 percent to 55,300 won, and top automaker Hyundai Motor was down 1.59 percent to 155,000 won. Portal service provider Naver dropped 2.08 percent to 848,000 won and cosmetics giant AmorePacific shrank 4.43 percent to 345,000 won.

Shares of shipping companies rose 4.44 percent, showing the strongest gains among industries. Pan Ocean reported a favorable first-quarter performance Friday while Hyundai Merchant Marine said it will acquire a terminal in Spain formerly operated by defunct Hanjin Shipping on Monday. Gas utilities, advertisement and securities also strengthened.

The secondary Kosdaq market closed at 643.73 on Friday, down 0.59 percent or 3.95 points compared to the previous day.

Celltrion nudged up 0.21 percent to 95,500 won and Kakao grew 0.63 percent to 95,800 won while Loen Entertainment, operator of the music-streaming platform Melon, fell 0.45 percent to 88,600 won.

The local currency closed at 1,127.40 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.50 won.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year treasuries fell 1.7 basis points to 1.71 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds shed 1.8 basis points to 1.935 percent.

BY KIM JEE-HEE, YONHAP [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]