+ A

Kospi drops as investors sell large-cap shares

May 10,2018
Seoul’s main bourse dropped slightly on Wednesday with foreign investors offloading local large-cap shares.

The benchmark Kospi fell 5.83 points, or 0.24 percent, to close at 2,443.98 on Wednesday, extending its falling spree into its fifth trading day.

“There are high uncertainties out there. We can’t predict the direction of the U.S.-North Korea talks or Washington bolting from the Iran nuclear deal,” said Kim Young-hwan from KB research center of KB Financial Group. “But the impact was not so big enough to push up or drag down the index remarkably.”

Foreign investors net sold Korean stocks worth 225.0 billion won ($208 million) Wednesday while retail investors sold off 37.7 billion won. Institutional investors scooped up 228.0 billion won in stocks.

By sector, electricity and gas retreated by 2.6 percent and electrical and electronics shares fell 2.1 percent. Steel and metal as well as securities shares each stepped down 1.4 percent.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics tumbled 3.23 percent to 50,900 won per share on Wednesday. Second-leading chipmaker SK Hynix stepped down 0.12 percent to 83,400 won.

Top steelmaker Posco fell 2.37 percent to 350,500 won. Portal giant Naver inched down 0.55 percent to 727,000 won.

Top automotive company Hyundai Motor pushed down 1.60 percent to 153,300 won. Kia Motors shed 0.89 percent to 33,550 won.

Chemical and gas company shares were in positive terrain.

LG Chem, the country’s top chemical company and battery maker, pushed up 2.72 percent to 339,500 won. Top oil refinery SK Innovation went up 1 percent to 202,000 won while Lotte Chemical inched up 0.78 percent to 389,000 won.

Celltrion, top pharmaceutical company, jumped by 9.75 percent to 259,000 won on the back of the news that its operating profit in the first quarter of this year jumped by more than 30 percent compared to a year before.

The secondary Kosdaq turned around and rose for the first time in six trading days, up 23.63 points, or 2.86 percent, compared to the previous session to close at 850.85.

The local currency closed at 1,080.9 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.4 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices closed slightly higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 0.2 basis point to 2.309 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds decreased 0.1 basis point to 2.583 percent.

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