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Kospi falls as investors wait out Trump visit

Nov 08,2017
Seoul shares closed lower Tuesday, as investors took to the sidelines awaiting the results of a bilateral summit between the leaders of Korea and the United States, analysts said.

The benchmark Kospi shed 3.97 points, or 0.16 percent, to close at 2,545.44.

The local stock market opened marginally higher following overnight gains on Wall Street but lost ground as uncertainties over the two countries’ free trade agreement caused investors to cash in gains from last week’s rally.

“The fact that U.S. President Donald Trump could mention the renegotiation of the trade deal during their summit weighed on the local stock market,” said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities.

During Tuesday’s summit, which took place as part of Trump’s first visit to Asia, trade was expected to be high on the agenda, along with North Korean issues. The two countries recently launched a formal discussion on modifying their bilateral trade deal.

Foreign investors bought a net 131 billion won ($117 million), while individuals and institutional investors dumped a net 75 billion won and 89 billion won worth of local stocks, respectively.

Foreign investors bought a net 130.8 billion won, while individuals and institutional investors dumped a net 74.8 billion won and 88.9 billion won worth of local stocks.

Most large caps ended in negative terrain.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 0.5 percent to end at 2,805,000 won. SK Hynix shed 1.32 percent to 82,400 won.

Auto shares were sluggish as well, with No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor plunging 2.21 percent to 155,000 won and its affiliate Hyundai Mobis sliding 2.39 percent to 266,000 won.

Steel shares, on the other hand, managed to remain in positive terrain, with major steelmaker Posco edging up 1.57 percent to 324,000 won. Hyundai Heavy Industries advanced 4.13 percent to 164,000 won. Discount chain Emart also jumped 5.19 percent to 233,000 won.

The tech-heavy Kosdaq fell 2.65 points, 0.38 percent from the previous session to close at 701.14 on Tuesday. Sell-offs from foreign investors had a big impact on the downfall.

Chemical shares were weak. Celltrion dropped 4.69 percent to 166,800 won. Affiliate Celltrion Healthcare fell 2.25 percent to 56,600 won.

The local currency closed at 1,111.90 won against the U.S. dollar.

The yield on three-year government bonds moved down two basis points to 2.13 percent and the return on 10-year government bonds fell one basis point to 2.54 percent.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON, YONHAP [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]