+ A

Kospi flat as investors wait on U.S. tax reforms

Nov 10,2017
Korean stocks finished nearly flat Thursday as investors took a wait-and-see approach to Washington’s anticipated tax reforms, analysts said. The Korean won closed flat against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi shed 1.83 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 2,550.57. Trade volume was moderate at 287.2 million shares worth 6.85 trillion won ($6.14 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 473 to 322.

Analysts said Seoul shares closed nearly flat despite rallies on Wall Street as overseas investors remained concerned over U.S. tax reforms.

“U.S. markets continued to gain ground on improved sentiments over Apple and related shares on the release of the iPhone X,” said Seo Sang-young, a researcher from Kiwoom Securities.

Seo, however, said the U.S. market is also taking a cautious stance against tax reforms, prodding foreign investors to not actively buy South Korean stocks.

Foreigners sold more shares than they bought at 61.9 billion won, and institutions also sold a net 184 billion won. Retail investors scooped up a net 203 billion won.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shed 0.72 percent to 2,817,000 won and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix shed 0.96 percent to 82,400 won.

No. 2 home appliance maker LG Electronics, on the other hand, advanced 3.9 percent to 96,000 won, and LG Display moved up 2.57 percent to 29,900 won.

Top chemical firm LG Chem closed 1.22 percent higher at 414,000 won, with LG Household & Health Care moving up 0.32 percent to 1,250,000 won.

No. 1 steelmaker Posco moved up 0.79 percent to 319,000 won and Korea Zinc climbed 0.19 percent to 520,000 won.

Stocks of Daewoo Shipbuilding closed at 21,000 won on the Seoul bourse, up 2.44 percent, after rising to as high as 24,650 won at one point.

The shipbuilder restarted its stock trading on the local stock market Oct. 30 after a 16-month suspension.

Mobile carriers finished bearish, with industry leader SK Telecom falling 0.2 percent to 253,500 won and No. 2 KT slipping 0.17 percent to 29,250 won.

The secondary Kosdaq market closed at 709.94, up 0.83 points or 0.12 percent from the last trading day.

The local currency closed at 1,115.60 won against the U.S. dollar, standing flat from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices closed higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 0.4 basis point to 2.147 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds shed 1.2 basis points to 2.350 percent.

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