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Foreign sellers pull down Kospi for third day

Dec 02,2017
Seoul’s main index retreated on Friday, dragged down by foreign selling for a third straight session.

The benchmark Kospi closed at 2,475.41, down 0.96 points from the previous trading day. Foreign investors were the main sellers, offloading 227.9 billion won ($210 million) in shares.

Institutional and retail investors, on the other hand, were in a buying mood, scooping up 61.9 billion won and 132.8 billion won each.

Kwak Hyun-soo, an analyst at Shinhan Investment, said institutional investors bought large-cap stocks on the hunt for bargains.

By sector, finance fared poorly, with banking stocks tumbling 2.9 percent and insurance stocks falling 1.8 percent. Pharmaceuticals were winners, rising 4.1 percent.

Samsung Electronics, the largest company by market cap, inched up 0.08 percent to 2,542.000 won. SK Hynix, its rival and second-largest chipmaker in the country, gained 0.78 percent to close at 77,400 won.

Other winners included LG Electronics, which rose 3.89 percent to 93,500 won, internet giant Naver, which advanced 3.88 percent to 831,000 won, and the Korea Electric Power Corporation, which gained 1.20 percent to end the day at 37,950 won.

Cosmetic shares were in positive terrain as well. LG Household and Health Care closed at 1,209,000 won, up 3.07 percent, while AmorePacific rose 1.13 percent to 312,500 won.

Netmarble Games, Korea’s top developer of mobile games, jumped 8.28 percent to 183,000 won after the release of Tera M, an MMORPG developed by Bluehole and published by Netmarble that is already one of the top-grossing apps on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

Auto shares, on the other hand, were in negative terrain. Hyundai Motor, the country’s largest automaker, fell 1.82 percent to 161,500 won after its labor union called another strike. Affiliate Kia Motors tumbled 1.49 percent to 33,150 won, and parts supplier Hyundai Mobis fell with them, dropping 1.65 percent to 269,000 won.

KB Financial Group, Korea’s largest holding company by assets, retreated 2.67 percent to 58,300 won. Shinhan Financial Group also slipped 2.69 percent to 47,100 won.

While the Kospi floundered, the tech-heavy Kosdaq closed at 787.70 on Friday, up 16.28 points from the previous session.

The local currency ended the day at 1,086.40 won against the U.S. dollar, up 1.80 won from Thursday.

Yields on three-year government bonds went up one basis point to 2.08 percent. Returns on 10-year bonds also rose one basis point to 2.49 percent.

BY CHOI HYUNG-JO, YONHAP [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]