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Kospi falls as investors sell health care shares

May 05,2018
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Korean stocks ended lower Friday as investors dumped health care shares amid doubts over their future growth with Samsung BioLogics, one of the largest bio companies, accused of conducting accounting fraud. The won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi fell 25.87 points, or 1.04 percent, to 2,461.38. Trade volume was heavy at 10.6 trillion won ($9.8 billion).

The main index was weighed down by sharp declines in Samsung BioLogics and other health care stocks. The biopharmaceutical unit of Samsung plunged 29.0 percent in the past four sessions following the financial regulator’s announcement that it had violated accounting rules.

Geopolitical uncertainties surrounding the Iran nuclear deal and the looming U.S.-China trade war also brought the Kospi down.

Institutions and foreigners were net sellers, offloading 741.2 billion won and 67.4 billion won each. Individuals bought a net 772.9 billion won, keeping the index from falling lower.

Pharmaceutical shares fell 4.8 percent across sector. Samsung BioLogics fell 7.82 percent to 359,500 won, and biosimiliar firm Celltrion declined 4.58 percent to 250,000 won during the trading session.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics also fell 2.08 percent to 51,900 won after reopening trade with stocks split by 50:1.

Most large-cap stocks lost, with top carmaker Hyundai Motor falling 1.25 percent to 158,000 won and leading refiner SK Innovation down 4.36 percent at 197,500 won.

Among gainers, steelmaker Posco rose 1.94 percent to 367,500 won, and cosmetics giant Amorepacific climbed 3.09 percent to 350,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq dropped 9.73 points, or 1.12 percent, to 856.34. The tech-heavy index ended in negative terrain for the fourth session in a row, dragged down by the 0.2 percent decline in the U.S. Nasdaq index and concerns over a trade war.

Foreigners offloaded a net 23.9 billion won while institutions sold a net 4.5 billion won. Individuals bought a net 32.6 billion won.

By sector, retail and pharmaceuticals each fell 3 percent and 2.5 percent. IT shares also ended lower, with semiconductor shares down 1.2 percent and IT parts dropping 0.8 percent.

The local currency closed at 1,077.20 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.90 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds gained 3.4 basis points to 2.28 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds added 1.0 basis points to 2.76 percent.


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