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Market retreats as investors continue to sell

Nov 21,2017
Seoul’s main bourse ended lower on Monday as institutional investors dumped shares worth more than 339 billion won, continuing their selling spree that began from Thursday last week.

The Korean won lost against the U.S. dollar, losing 3.1 won per dollar, or down by 0.3 percent from Friday’s session to come out at 1,100.6 won a dollar.

The Kospi shed 6.32 points, or 0.25 percent, to close at 2,527.67. Trade volume was moderate at 400 million shares worth 5.8 trillion won ($5.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 443 to 365.

Institutional investors offloaded a net 339.6 billion won worth of local stocks, while individuals and foreigners were net buyers by snatching up 89.8 billion won and 214.4 billion won, respectively. From Thursday last week, institutions sold a net of 988.6 billion won of local stocks while foreigners bought in 1.1 trillion won worth of stocks.

Specifically, foreign investors increased their purchase of food and beverage-related stocks by 50.6 billion won while their investments in electronics stocks rose by 31 billion won from the last session.

The secondary tech-heavy Kosdaq index, meanwhile, soared 1.22 percent to close at 785.32, the highest since November 2007.

Most large caps on the Kospi had a mixed day of trade, with tech and insurance shares finishing in negative terrain.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.11 percent to 2,760,000 won to snap a two-day winning streak, and SK Hynix was down 1.08 percent to 82,100 won.

Insurers lost ground, with Samsung Life Insurance dropping 2.59 percent to 131,500 won.

In contrast, chemical and medical shares closed higher with LG Chem, Korea’s leading chemical firm, inching up 0.24 percent to 409,500 won. Hanmi Pharmaceuticals climbed 2.14 percent to 574,000 won.

No. 1 steelmaker Posco also had an increase of 1.28 percent to 317,000 won.

Auto shares also had a mixed day, with leading automaker Hyundai Motor backtracking 0.32 percent to 156,500 won, and its sister company, Kia Motors, shedding 0.3 percent to 33,750 won. Hyundai Mobis, meanwhile, remained unchanged at 255,500 won.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, gained. The yield on three-year bonds lost 1.8 basis points to 2.162 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bonds shed 2.5 basis points to 2.358 percent.

BY KANG JIN-KYU, YONHAP [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]