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Seoul shares snap out of 7-day losing streak

Sept 29,2017
Seoul’s main bourse advanced slightly on Thursday, pushed up due to the prospect of sound earnings during the third quarters by the local tech and chemical companies.

The benchmark Kospi rose by 0.57 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at 2,373.14 on Thursday, finally putting a stop to the losing streak that went on for seven straight trading days.

The main index had been on the decline for the seventh-straight session mainly due to foreign selling amid tensions between North Korea and the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is “totally prepared” to use military options against North Korea. His latest warning came in response to Pyongyang’s threat a day earlier to shoot down approaching American bombers, even if they are in international airspace.

Retail investors were the main buyer of Korean stocks, scooping up 119.5 billion won ($103.8 million). Foreign investors offloaded 136.5 billion won and institutional investors net sold 42.7 billion won in local shares.

Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities, said investors purchased large-cap stocks in auto, tech and chemical sectors in anticipation of their strong earnings in the July-September quarter.

By sector, medical shares rose by 2.1 percent and chemical shares increased 1.2 percent.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell by 0.81 percent to 2,563.000 won. Naver, the nation’s portal giant, inched down 0.14 percent to 733,000 won. Oil refiner SK Innovation nudged down 0.51 percent to 194,500 won.

Auto shares were mixed across the board.

Hyundai Motor, Korea’s top auto company, edged down 0.34 percent to 147,000 won. Its sister company Kia Motors slid 1.91 percent to 30,850 won. Affiliate auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis, on the other hand, inched up 0.43 percent to 232,500 won.

Chipmaker SK Hynix rose by 0.97 percent to close at 83,200 won on Thursday. LG Chem, top chemical company, advanced 2.12 percent to 386,000 won. Lotte Chemical gained 1.75 percent to 378,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell for the first time in three trading days, down 1.15 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 648.09.

The local currency closed at 1,149.10 won against the U.S. dollar, down 8.40 won from the previous session’s close.

The return on three-year government bond was fixed at 1.89 percent. The yield on 10-year bond rose three basis points to 2.39 percent.

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