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Korean bourse takes hit from U.S. losses

July 08,2017
Korean stocks finished lower Friday, taking a cue from overnight falls on Wall Street, although Samsung Electronics, the top cap here, delivered a record quarterly high for the second quarter, analysts said.

The benchmark Kospi fell 7.94 points, or 0.33 percent, to close at 2,379.87. Trade volume was moderate at 303 million shares worth 4.97 trillion won ($4.31 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 485 to 307.

The Korean market opened lower as the U.S. market suffered a loss on Thursday from weaker-than-expected job data and investors were tempted to cash in part of their recent gains amid geopolitical tension.

“Samsung’s second-quarter estimates have been baked into the market for the past weeks, and investors remained cautious amid increased tension on the Korean Peninsula,” said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities.

Samsung Electronics closed down 0.42 percent at 2,393,000 won despite having said earlier in the day that its second-quarter operating profit is estimated to have shot up nearly 72 percent from last year to a record-high quarterly level of 14 trillion won, apparently helped by robust performance in its chip business.

LG Electronics fell 4.15 percent to 73,900 won after reporting an estimated 664 billion won in operating income for the second quarter.

Automakers continued to slide. Hyundai Motor, Korea’s top automaker, dropped 2.57 percent to end at 151,500 won amid concerns that its sales in China have remained in a slump over a diplomatic row between Beijing and Seoul over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system.

Posco, the top steelmaker, gained 0.68 percent to end at 296,000 won, and the state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation gained 0.95 percent to finish at 42,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq index remained steady at 663.77, down 0.02 points from the previous session.

The local currency closed at 1,154.30 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.1 won from the previous session’s close.

Three-year government bond yields rose three basis points to 1.78 percent, and the 10-year yield increased four basis points to 2.32 percent on Friday.

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