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Market continues five-day losing streak

Sept 07,2017
Korean stocks closed lower Wednesday as a decline in U.S. stocks, coupled with concerns over North Korean provocations, continued to sour investor sentiment, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi dropped 6.80 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,319.82, extending its losing streak to a fifth day. Trade volume was low at 249 million shares worth 5.25 trillion won ($4.62 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers at 569 to 239.

Analysts said Wednesday’s decline came as the overnight losses on Wall Street and North Korea’s nuclear test prodded investors to seek safer assets.

Experts, however, said the geopolitical factors may have a short-lived impact on the local financial market.

“The Kospi kicked off lower on the sluggish U.S. market. The decline, however, was limited on eased geopolitical risks,” said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities.

Foreigners offloaded a net 325.5 billion won, while individual investors scooped up a net 107 billion won. Institutions bought more shares than they sold at 175 billion won.

Carmakers finished lower, with industry leader Hyundai Motor moving down 1.45 percent and its smaller sister Kia Motors falling 3.67 percent. Auto parts arm Hyundai Mobis stepped down 1.47 percent.

No. 1 steelmaker Posco slipped 2.19 percent to 335,000 won, and Korea Zinc closed unchanged at 517,000 won. No. 2 player Hyundai Steel slid 2.63 percent to 55,500 won.

Leading mobile carrier SK Telecom decreased 1.61 percent to 244,000 won, and No. 2 player KT moved down 0.99 percent to 30,050 won. .

Tech shares, on the other hand, closed higher. Market behemoth Samsung Electronics rose 0.51 percent to 2,350,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq market ended 3.84 points or 0.59 percent higher than the previous trading day at 652.59.

The local currency closed at 1,135.40 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.30 won from the previous session’s close.

The yield on three-year bonds shed 0.5 basis point at 1.775 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds also lost 1.3 basis point to 1.983 percent.

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