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Kospi retreats after four days of record highs

Oct 27,2017
Seoul’s main bourse retreated for the first time in five trading days as retail and foreign investors cashed in on the recent upswing.

The benchmark Kospi has been edging closer to the 2,500 mark for nearly a week.

But on Thursday the market closed 0.48 percent, or 11.87 points lower than the previous trade at 2,480.63 despite the positive news that the Korean economy grew at its fastest pace in seven years in the third quarter, which has also increased confidence in the chance of 3 percent growth by the year’s end.

In most of the past five trading days, retail and foreign investors were net buyers. Institutional investors that were net sellers the previous day turned around as net buyers.

Also, negative news abroad including a disappointing performance report from the U.S. that had the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreat 0.48 percent overnight impacted the local market.

Trade volume was moderate at 638.07 million shares worth 7.05 trillion won ($6.3 billion), with decliners outnumbering advancers 454 to 358.

Tech stocks led the losses, falling 2.62 percent. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics saw its shares decline 2.78 percent to 2,620,000 won. This was the third consecutive trading day that the country’s biggest tech company has seen its stock value retreat.

SK Hynix, which announced its best quarterly performance yet, fell at a sharper rate of 3.67 percent to 78,700 won.

The world’s second-largest chip maker saw its operating profit in the third quarter increase 414.8 percent from a year earlier to 3.74 trillion won, revising the previous all-time quarterly record set in the second quarter at 3.5 trillion won. However, the company’s shares, like those of Samsung Electronics, have been declining since Tuesday.

On the contrary, Hyundai Motor saw its shares surge 7.41 percent to 159,500 after announcing better-than-expected third quarter performance.

Stocks related to China saw an increase largely thanks to the first appearance of a group package to Korea, signaling a possible easing of geopolitical tensions over a U.S.-led antimissile defense system.

The local currency closed at 1,124.60 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.30 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds jumped 8.8 basis points to 2.182 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds climbed 7.7 basis points to 2.418 percent.

BY LEE HO-JEONG, YONHAP [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]