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Seoul stocks pulled down by automotive, steel

Sept 22,2017
Seoul’s main bourse retreated again on Thursday, pushed down as automotive and steel stocks fell.

The benchmark Kospi fell 5.70 points, or 0.24 percent, to close at 2,406.50 on Thursday.

Institutional investors dumped 200.9 billion won ($177.2 million) in local share. Foreign investors net sold 800 million won. Retail investors, on the other hand, scooped up 180.7 billion won in Korean stocks.

“The decline was mainly driven by losses in auto and steel shares,” said analyst Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co.

By sector, steel and securities each fell 2.2 percent.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics managed to reach yet another record peak on Thursday despite the fall in the Kospi. The share price of the tech giant rose 1.11 percent to close at 2,640,000 won. While in session, the price went up as high as 2,648,000 won, the in-session record high.

Another chipmaker SK Hynix jumped 2.97 percent to 83,100 won, a day after Japanese company Toshiba decided to pick the group that includes SK Hynix as the preferred bidder for its memory chip unit. Korea’s leading telecommunication service provider SK Telecom rose 1.43 percent to 249,000 won.

Battery makers were mixed across the board.

LG Chem, the nation’s top battery maker, inched up 0.13 percent to 389,000 won.

SK Innovation, an oil refiner and a battery producer, edged down 0.37 percent to 269,500 won. Samsung SDI, battery-making arm of Samsung, retreated 2.74 percent to 213,000 won

Leading steelmaker Posco slipped 2.62 percent to close at 316,500 won.

Hyundai Motor, the nation’s top auto maker, nudged down 0.35 percent to 141,500 won. Its sister company Kia Motors decreased 2.39 percent to 30,600 won and affiliate auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis fell 1.37 percent to 216,000 won.

Korea Aerospace Industries, the country’s only aircraft maker, plunged 5.84 percent to finish at 143,500 won after its vice president was found dead in an apparent suicide earlier in the day amid a widening probe into a series of suspected irregularities at the company.

The secondary Kosdaq also closed lower at 661.11, down 6.94 points, or 1.04 percent, on Thursday.

The local currency closed at 1,132.70 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.40 won from the previous session’s close.

The yield on three-year government bond fell one basis point to 1.78 percent on Thursday. The return on 10-year bond remained fixed at 2.28 percent.

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