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Foreign selling pushes market down

Sept 01,2017
Seoul’s main bourse retreated on Thursday, pushed down as foreign investors net sold local shares.

The benchmark Kospi closed at 2,363.19 on Thursday, down 9.10 points, or 0.38 percent, in comparison to the previous close.

The local stock market opened higher as market sentiment was boosted by overnight gains on Wall Street but pared earlier gains as foreigners continued to offload more shares than they bought.

Foreigners sold 110.2 billion won ($97.7 million) in local stocks and institutions offloaded 57.2 billion won. Retail investors scooped up 134.7 billion won worth of stocks.

“The local stock market recovered most of its losses seen in the past sessions,” said Lee Kyong-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities. “But ahead of key economic data from the U.S. and a crucial policy meeting of the European Central Bank, many investors took to the sidelines.”

By sector, automobile fell 2.3 percent. Banking and securities each tumbled 1.4 percent and 0.6 percent.

Despite the overall fall, market bellwether Samsung Electronics inched up 0.26 percent to 2,316,000 won. SK Hynix nudged up 0.15 percent to 68,600 won.

Most other large-caps, on the other hand, were in negative terrain.

Portal giant Naver shed 2.45 percent to 755,000 won. LG Chem also nudged down 0.26 percent to 379,000 won.

Local car shares also suffered on Thursday after the court ruled that Kia Motors should pay some 400 billion won in compensation for its workers.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor fell 1.75 percent to 140,500 won. Kia plummeted 3.54 percent to 35,450 won and affiliate auto part company Hyundai Mobis retreated 3.48 percent to 236,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq continued its rally into sixth trading day, up 2.83 points, or 0.43 percent, to close at 657,38.

The local currency closed at 1,127.80 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.6 won from the previous session’s close.

The yield on three-year bonds fell 0.5 basis point to 1.747 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds rose 1 basis point to 1.968 percent.

BY CHOI HYUNG-JO, YONHAP [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]