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Market falls as foreign investors cash in

June 29,2017
Seoul’s main bourse slumped on Wednesday, retreating from the previous session’s all-time high, as foreign investors remained net sellers. The Korean won declined against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi declined 9.39 points, or 0.39 percent, to close at 2,382.56. Trade volume was moderate at 340 million shares worth 5.79 trillion won ($5.06 billion). Korean stocks closed at an all-time high Tuesday for a second straight session, helped by retail investors.

The local stock market opened lower with subdued sentiment after a key vote on U.S. President Donald Trump’s health care reform was delayed, rekindling worries about Trump’s economic policies.

Foreign investors sold a net 246.2 billion won worth of local stocks.

Kim Dae-jun, a senior research at Hankook Investment & Securities, said foreign investors “intensively” sold large-cap stocks after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen voiced support for a gradual increase of U.S. interest rates.

Top cap Samsung Electronics fell 1.24 percent to end at 2,385,000 won, and SK Hynix, a global chipmaker, slipped 2.89 percent to 67,200 won.

Naver, the operator of the country’s top Internet portal, shed 0.92 percent to 861,000 won.

Automakers also finished in negative terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor down 0.31 percent to 160,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors dipping 0.39 percent to 37,850 won.

Steelmaker Posco rose 3.27 percent to 284,000 won, while LG Electronics fell 3.65 percent to 79,300 won.

The secondary Kosdaq closed at 665.98, down 6.74 points, or 1 percent, from the previous trading day.

Celltrion fell 0.96 percent to 114,000 won and Kakao dropped 2.89 percent to 100,800 won. CJ E&M also lost 1.67 percent to 76,600 won.

The local currency closed at 1,144.00 won against the U.S. dollar, down 7.1 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys gained 3.0 basis points to 1.711 percent and the benchmark five-year bond added 5.1 basis points to 1.904 percent.

BY KIM YOUNG-NAM, YONHAP [kim.youngnam@joongang.co.kr]