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Kospi falls as investors await news from Fed

Dec 13,2017
Korean stocks closed lower on Tuesday as foreign investors continued to go for profit-taking. Asian markets in general were slow as investors awaited policy announcements from the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.

The benchmark index, the Kospi, fell 10.49 points from the previous session to 2,461. Trade volume was moderate at 276.7 million shares worth 5.07 trillion won ($4.6 billion). Foreign investors sold 235.9 billion won worth of stocks, outweighing combined buying worth 207.7 billion won by institutional and retail investors.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board. Mid-cap and small-cap stocks each fell 0.7 percent and 0.8 percent.

Samsung Electronics, the largest company on the board by market capitalization, rose 0.62 percent to 2,605,000 won. SK Hynix, a major chip manufacturer, fell 1.14 percent to 77,800 won.

Hyundai Motor ended flat at 150,000 won amid ongoing strikes at its main factories in Korea. Its auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis slipped 0.39 percent to 256,000 won, while Kia Motors moved up 0.77 percent to 32,700 won.

News that President Moon Jae-in and China’s Xi Jinping would not release a joint statement following their summit this week lowered expectations that the two countries would improve relations soon, a sentiment that heavily affected businesses related to China.

AmorePacific, a major manufacturer of cosmetics, fell 4.01 percent to 311,500 won, alongside competitor LG Household and Health Care, which lost 2.86 percent to end at 1,154,000 won. Tobacco company KT&G retreated 1.26 percent to 118,000 won.

By sector, chemical shares were weak, falling 1.9 percent. Insurance shares shed 1.5 percent, and telecommunications shares went down 1.4 percent.

LG Chem fell 2.5 percent to 390,000 won, SK Innovation lost 2.48 percent to end at 197,000 won and Samsung Life Insurance dropped 2.36 percent to 124,000 won.

The secondary index, the Kosdaq, closed at 760.4, down 3.69 points from the previous session. Celltrion rose 0.29 percent to 205,600 won. Its affiliate Celltrion Healthcare also rose 2.72 percent to 87,000 won. CJ E&M lost 1.86 percent to end at 89,800 won.

The local currency closed at 1,092.4 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.1 won from the previous day.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. Returns on three-year government bonds fell one basis point to 2.08 percent, and returns on 10-year bonds declined three basis points to 2.46 percent.

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