+ A

Kospi falls after export report worries investors

May 03,2018
Korea’s main bourse ended lower Wednesday as foreign and institutional investors offloaded large quantities of health care stocks. Investor confidence was low amid report of Korea’s export volume decreasing 1.5 percent on-year for April. The won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi fell 9.77 points, or 0.39 percent, to 2,505.61. Trade volume was heavy at 11.5 trillion won ($10.68 billion), the highest since April 2011.

Biopharmaceutical firms, such as Samsung BioLogics and Celltrion, contributed to losses. Samsung BioLogics nosedived 17.21 percent to 404,000 won and Celltrion plunged 4.43 percent to 259,000 won.

Samsung BioLogics continued to drop after the Financial Supervisory Service said Tuesday that Samsung’s biopharmaceutical unit had violated accounting rules.

Foreigners sold 166.3 billion won worth of stocks and institutions dumped 117.5 billion won worth of shares. Individuals bought 279.4 billion won in stocks, keeping the Kospi from falling further.

Major large-cap stocks ended flat or lower.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics ended unchanged from the previous session at 2,650,000 won. Samsung’s trading arm Samsung C&T and IT services affiliate Samsung SDS also plunged 5.71 percent to 132,000 won and 5.92 percent to 230,500 won each, dragged down by lower investor sentiment in the electronics giant.

By sector, pharmaceuticals plunged 7.1 percent. Securities and insurance each dipped 2.3 percent and 1.4 percent.

The secondary Kosdaq also ended in negative terrain as the controversy around Samsung BioLogics dragged down pharmaceutical shares in the tech-heavy index as well.

Major bio shares closed lower. Celltrion Healthcare dropped 2.9 percent to 87,200 won, while Celltrion Pharm fell 1.84 percent to 85,300 won.

Kosdaq No. 2 and major bio firm SillaJen climbed up 2.02 percent to 85,800 won.

By sector, pharmaceuticals dropped 2 percent, with retail and software falling 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent each.

Foreigners bought a net 150.5 billion won. Individuals and institutions each offloaded 58.4 billion won and 69.1 billion won.

The local currency closed at 1,076.10 won against the U.S. dollar, up 8.10 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds gained 2.1 basis points to 2.24 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds added 3.8 basis points to 2.75 percent.

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