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Seoul stocks inch down after 3 record sessions

Jan 31,2018
Seoul’s main bourse retreated on Tuesday, taking a breather from record-breaking rally during the past three sessions.

The benchmark Kospi closed at 2,567.74, down 30.45 points, or 1.17 percent, compared to the previous session during which the index set a record high. The index was pushed down as foreigners and institutions offloaded the local shares to take profit from recent gains.

Kim Byung-yeon, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said the local stock markets were pressurized by concerns over rising interest rates in the United States.

Foreign investors net sold 124.7 billion won ($115.97 million) in local stocks. Institutions sold off 145.1 billion won. Retail investors, on the other hand, scooped up 253.5 billion won worth of shares.

Large-caps fell across the board on Tuesday.

By sector, electrical and electronics share retreated 2.6 percent while steel and metal fell 1.9 percent. Medical and securities shares tumbled 1.5 percent each.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics slipped 2.77 percent Tuesday to close at 2,490,000 won. SK Hynix, second-largest chipmaker in Korea, also stepped down 2.92 percent to 73,100 won. Posco, top steelmaker here, dropped 3.19 percent to 379,500 won.

Portal giant Naver inched down 0.11 percent to 931,000 won. KB Financial Group, top financial holding company in Korea by assets, nudged down 0.45 percent to 66,900 won.

LG Chem, the top battery maker in Korea, pushed down 1.25 percent to 436,000 won. Another battery producer Samsung SDI also retreated 2.15 percent to 204,500 won.

Netmarble Games, the top mobile game publisher in Korea, lost 1.16 percent to 170,000 won.

Cosmetic shares were also in negative terrain.

LG Household & Health Care edged down 0.77 percent to 1,161,000 won. AmorePacific shed 0.64 percent to 309,500 won.

Auto shares were mixed.

Hyundai Mobis, a parts maker, fell 1.60 percent to 245,500 won whereas Hyundai Motor, the top auto producer in Korea, inched up 0.97 percent to 156,000 won.

SK Telecom, the leading telecommunication provider in Korea, nudged up 0.56 percent to 267,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq ended its five-day rally and fell 6.09 points, or 0.66 percent, to close at 920.96.

The local currency closed at 1,073.60 won against the U.S. dollar, down 8 won from the previous session’s close.

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