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Kospi continues fall for third consecutive day

Jan 12,2018

Despite strong export figures for the first 10 days of the new year, Seoul’s main bourse fell for the third day in a row Thursday, dropping 11.84 points, or 0.47 percent, to close at 2,487.91.

With the drop on Thursday, the Kospi continued its three-day loss streak despite strong export figures that showed a 17.6 percent increase for the first 10 days of January compared to the same period last year.

Institutional investors were net sellers, dumping local stocks worth 428.2 billion won ($400 million), offsetting purchases by foreigners and individuals.

Foreigners bought 58.9 billion won worth of shares while individuals purchased 316.2 billion won.

The drop was attributed to rising concerns over the United States moving to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement as well as some foreign investors capitalizing on gains made in recent days from local stocks.

Tech shares performed weak. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.23 percent to 2,412,000 won, continuing a four-day losing streak. Major chipmaker SK Hynix slipped 0.41 percent to 72,600 won.

Korea’s top automaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.32 percent to 155,500 won while its sister company Kia Motors also slipped 1.16 percent to 32,500 won. Top chemical firm LG Chem gained 1.2 percent to 421,500 won.

Steelmaker Posco declined 1.61 percent to 366,500 won.

Naver, the operator of the country’s biggest portal site, fell 1.19 percent to 917,000 won.

Kakao, the operator of chat app Kakao Talk, which has the biggest local market share, dropped 6 percent to end at 140,500 won.

The tech-heavy Kosdaq reached 852.51, 17.6 points higher than the last trading session, on the back of government measures announced earlier this month intended to boost the secondary bourse by giving tax breaks to individuals investing in mutual funds for start-ups as well as easing requirements to list on the secondary market.

Celltrion added 3.72 percent to 307,000 won and its smaller affiliate Celltrion Healthcare also saw its share jump sharply by 17.98 percent to 128,600 won. Institutions led a buying spree in the secondary market, scooping up shares worth 215.7 billion won, whereas individuals sold shares worth more than 190 billion won.

The local currency closed slightly lower, by 0.1 won, to the U.S. dollar to close at 1,072 won per dollar, continuing its five-day streak of weakening against the greenback.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year government bonds fell 2 basis points to end at 2.151 percent.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [kang.jinkyu@joongang.co.kr]