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Kospi inches down as foreign investors cash in

Nov 28,2017
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Seoul’s main bourse dropped by 1.44 percent on Monday as foreign investors sold stocks worth more than 450 billion won ($414 million) Monday while institutional investors offloaded more than 47 billion won worth of stocks.

The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar, ending its five-day streak of increasing against the greenback.

The benchmark Kospi declined 36.52 points, or 1.44 percent, to 2,507.81 while the secondary Kosdaq rose by 0.06 points, or 0.01 percent, to close at 792.8.

Foreign investors sold a net 452 billion won worth of stocks, and institutions offloaded 47 billion won in shares. Individuals bought 452 billion won in stocks, keeping the main Kospi index from falling further.

Specifically, foreigners sold electronics-related shares worth 358 billion won while offloading service-related shares worth 48.7 billion won. In contrast to offloading by foreigners and institutions, individuals purchased shares worth more than 452.6 billion won, but stopped short of keeping the Kospi from falling more than by 1.4 percent.

Park Chun-young, an analyst at Daishin Securities, said investors sold Samsung Electronics and other electric and electronics stocks after Morgan Stanley cut its price target of Samsung Electronics stock to 2.8 million won per share in its latest report.

Park said the decline of Samsung Electronics weighed on the main index.

Large-cap stocks declined across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 5.08 percent to 2,632,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix declined 2.35 percent to 83,100 won. LG Electronics shed 1.28 percent to close at 92,200 won while its affiliate LG Chem, Korea’s leading chemical firm, also saw a 0.94 percent drop to come out at 419,500 won.

Auto sales fell. Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest carmaker, lost 0.31 percent to 158,500 won while its sister company Kia Motors also ended lower at 32,750 won after shedding 0.91 percent.

Among gainers, top steelmaker Posco rose 0.62 percent to 322,000 won, and leading cosmetics maker AmorePacific climbed 2.93 percent to 316,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,088.60 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.20 won from the previous session’s close. The decline ended the won’s five-day rally against the dollar, which raised concerns over its potential impact on the price competitiveness of products of Korea, the fourth-largest economy in Asia, when they are exported overseas.

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