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Seoul stocks pulled down by tech share losses

Jan 10,2018
Seoul’s main bourse retreated on Tuesday, triggered by losses among leading tech shares.

The benchmark Kospi closed at 2,510.23, down 3.05, or 0.12 percent, from the previous session.

Tech shares had a bearish day ahead of the earnings season as analysts raised concerns over the impact of a stronger won and lower chip prices on major exporters.

Foreigners net bought Korean shares worth 19.1 billion won ($17.9 million) Tuesday. Institutional investors scooped up 212.6 billion won. Retail investors offloaded 260.6 billion won.

By sector, electrical and electronics shares fell 2.4 percent. In comparison, telecommunications rose by 4.1 percent and steel by 2.5 percent.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics lost 3.11 percent Tuesday to close at 2,520,000 won.

The tech giant reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2017 as 15.1 trillion won, below the market expectation, which stood at 15.7 trillion won.

“Share prices of Samsung Electronics weighed on the market index, but the correction is expected to be short-lived, considering its operating profit guidance was affected by one-off costs,” Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said. “Investors will wait for quarterly reports of other tech heavyweights to make changes to their portfolios.”

Samsung SDS slipped 2.42 percent to 242,000 won Tuesday. Top oil refiner SK Innovation edged down 0.76 percent to 196,000 won. Samsung SDI, battery making arm of Samsung, retreated 2.66 percent to 219,500 won.

Cosmetic shares were also in negative terrain.

Top cosmetic producer AmorePacific stepped down 0.67 percent to 298,000 won. LG Household & Health Care lost 1.37 percent to 1,148,000 won.

Auto shares were in the positive on Tuesday.

Top automotive company Hyundai Mobis inched up 0.99 percent to 152,500 won. Its sister company Kia Motors edged up 0.31 percent to 32,500 won. Affiliate parts maker Hyundai Mobis pushed up 0.81 percent to 249,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq snapped its two-day rally and fell 9.52, or 1.13 percent, to close at 829.99 Tuesday.

The local currency finished at 1,067.1 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.1 won from the previous session’s close.

The yield on three-year government bonds rose one basis point to 2.15 percent. Return on 10-year bonds went up by three basis points to 2.57 percent.

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