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Kospi ends lower as foreigners sell tech shares

Dec 01,2017
Korean shares ended lower Thursday on foreign selling in technology stocks. On Wednesday, semiconductor companies in the U.S. posted a steep decline in stock prices. Analysts said the effect eventually touched local companies engaging in the sector as well, like Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix-two top-ranked companies in terms of market cap on the Korean stock market.

The benchmark Kospi shed 36.53 points, or 1.45 percent, to 2,476.37. This was the largest day-to-day drop since Aug. 11.

Net sell-offs of Korean stock from foreign investors summed 591.8 billion won ($543.7 million), outnumbering retail and institutional investors’ net purchases of 201.8 billion and 354.4 billion won each.

“Most of the shares sold by foreign investors are electric-and-electronic stocks,” said Park Chun-young, an analyst at Daishin Securities. She also said the decline in the main index was blamed on a correction in the Nasdaq.

Most large-cap stocks were mixed across the board. By sector, pharmaceuticals, electronics and service industries declined the most, all of them pushing down at least 3 percent compared to the previous day.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics shares fell 3.42 percent to 2,540,000 won. The conglomerates’ subsidiaries among the top of the list were generally weak on Thursday. Samsung BioLogics slumped 6.04 percent to 342,500 won. Samsung SDI, the battery manufacturer, was down 3.85 percent to 212,000 won. Samsung SDS lost 4.57 percent to 188,000 won.

No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix was down for the fourth trading day, by 6.8 percent to 76,800 won. LG Electronics slipped 1.53 percent to 90,000 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor was up 2.49 percent to 164,500 won. Auto-parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis also added 3.8 percent to 273,500 won. Sister company Kia Motors added 0.9 percent to 33,650 won.

The secondary Kosdaq closed at 771.42, down 10.30 points, or 1.32 percent from the previous trading day. A large sell-off of IT-related company stock in Korea from institutional investors was counted as a reason for the decline.

Celltrion shed 2.44 percent to 200,100 won, alongside affiliate Celltrion Healthcare, which was down 0.57 percent to 87,200 won. Sillajen, another emerging pharmaceutical in the secondary market, gained 12.76 percent to 110,500 won.

Bond prices closed higher. The yield on three-year government bonds fell four basis points to 2.85 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds was steady at 2.48 percent.

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