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Market remains unchanged over Thanksgiving

Nov 25,2017
Seoul’s main index, the Kospi, remained almost unchanged on Friday, as foreign investors mostly offloaded for a second consecutive session while institutional investors were the main buyers.

The index added 0.28 points to close at 2,544.33. Other markets in Asia showed similar trends as investors have remained on the sidelines with the U.S. stock market closed for Thanksgiving.

Japan’s Nikkei inched up 0.12 percent, while the Shanghai market barely changed, adding just 0.06 percent, and the Hong Kong market gained a mere half a percent.

Analysts project that markets will not likely see significant shifts in the following weeks as investors cautiously await the results of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s meeting scheduled for Dec. 12 and 13. The market has been betting on the Fed raising rates next month.

Retail and foreign investors were both net sellers. Retail investors especially have been offloading their shares in the last four days, profiting from a bullish rally that the market has been enjoying.

Machinery shares were up 2.33 percent, followed by insurance at 1.47 percent and telecommunications at 1.2 percent.

On the contrary, medical precision shares fell 1.36 percent, brokerage firms were down half a percent and medical drugs dropped 0.44 percent. Bank shares also saw a drop of 0.26 percent.

Tech and auto stocks led gains. All top shares by market capitalization, including Samsung Electronics, gained on Friday. Samsung inched up 0.29 percent to 2,773,000 won ($2,554.38).

SK Hynix, a major manufacturer of semiconductors, rose nearly half a percent to 85,100 won, while Hyundai Motor, Korea’s largest automaker, increased 1.27 percent to 159,000 won. Naver saw its shares rise 1.12 percent.

While 433 shares on the Kospi were winners, 351 were losers and 89 shares remained the same.

Samsung Biologics, which had been enjoying a bullish rally recently, fell 0.78 percent to 379,500 won, while Shinhan Financial Group dipped 0.1 percent to 47,750 won.

The secondary market, the Kosdaq, closed 4.06 points lower on Friday at 792.74.

The local currency ended the day at 1,085.40 won against the dollar, unchanged from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. Returns on three-year government bonds rose 3.5 basis points to 2.17 percent, while returns on the benchmark five-year bond climbed 2.9 basis points to 2.35 percent.

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