+ A

Kospi, Kosdaq slip amid global uncertainty

Feb 07,2018
Korean stocks ended lower Tuesday as foreigners dumped local stocks, tracking losses on Wall Street. The won fell against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi fell 38.44 points, or 1.54 percent, to 2,453.31. Falling as low as 2,409.49 at one point, the primary index ended in negative territory for a third straight session.

On Monday, U.S. stocks fell sharply on concerns that the Federal Reserve could raise rates earlier than expected. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 4.6 percent, the biggest decline since August 2011. It affected Asian bourses, including the Korean main stock exchange, analysts said.

Foreigners sold a net 281.21 billion won ($258 million) worth of stocks, but institutions and individuals bought a combined 278 billion won worth of shares to help undermine the fall.

Most large-cap stocks declined across the board.

The financial sector took the biggest hit. KB financial group, Korea’s top financial holding company by assets, dropped 5.17 percent to 64,200 won, while Shinhan Financial Group stepped down 3.62 percent to 50,600 won.

Hana Financial Group closed 5.45 percent down at 50,300 won.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.04 percent to 2,371,000 won a day after a Seoul court allowed the release of the chip giant’s Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on probation. Top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.94 percent to 157,500 won.

Both the construction and insurance sectors fell by 1.8 percent.

The secondary Kosdaq only fell 0.05 points to settle at 858.17, despite the steep fall of U.S. Nasdaq by 3.8 percent and low investor confidence. The tech-heavy index closed with just a 0.01 percent drop as institutional investors became net buyers.

Institutional investors bought 75.7 billion won worth of shares, while retail investors sold 81.4 billion won. Foreigners were also net buyers, purchasing 1.3 billion won in stocks.

Pharmaceutical and retail sectors were winners, each rising by 0.2 and 2.6 percent respectively. Gaming and entertainment companies slightly faltered as they closed with a 1.8 percent drop.

The local currency closed at 1,091.50 won against the dollar, down 3.00 won from the previous session’s close. This marked the fourth consecutive day in decline.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell three basis points to 2.25 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds declined five basis points to 2.50 percent.

BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]