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Kospi winning streak ends amid G-7 concerns

June 09,2018
Korean stocks closed lower Friday to end a five-day winning streak as investors tried to lock in profits from recent gains, amid lingering trade concerns ahead of the Group of Seven meeting. The Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi sank 19 points, or 0.77 percent, to close at 2,451.58. Trade volume was relatively heavy at 7.19 trillion won ($6.69 billion).

Investors took to the sidelines ahead of the G-7 summit that continues into the weekend, in which trade tensions between the United States and its major partners are expected to take center stage in talks.

“The index took a breather from a recent rally, led by tech heavyweights and steel shares,” Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said. “The massive selloff of stocks on the Brazilian market also spooked investor sentiments in emerging markets, and in Korea.”

Foreigners sold a net 33.2 billion won worth of stocks while institutions offloaded a net 498.6 billion won. Retail investors scooped up a net 503.8 billion won.

Tech shares dropped as China’s antitrust probe into major chipmakers sparked concerns over their business prospects in the world’s largest semiconductor market.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 1.88 percent to 49,650 won, and SK Hynix, the nation’s second-largest chipmaker, dipped 2.75 percent to 88,400 won.

Steel shares slipped following a strong rally in the previous session.

Industry leader Posco shed 2.17 percent to 360,000 won, and its smaller rival Hyundai Steel tumbled 6.17 percent to 60,800 won.

In contrast, telecommunications rose after the nation’s three mobile carriers passed the preliminary test for the first auction for high-end fifth-generation network frequencies.

No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom gained 1.55 percent to 230,000 won and its rival KT edged up 0.72 percent to 27,850 won. LG U+ jumped 6.43 percent to 13,250 won.

The tech-heavy Kosdaq fell 9.43 points, or 1.06 percent, to 878.48, weighed down by the 0.7 percent decline in the U.S. Nasdaq.

Foreigners offloaded a net 72.0 billion won while institutions sold a net 60.8 billion won. Individuals purchased a net 141.5 billion won.

The Korean currency closed at 1,075.9 won against the U.S. dollar, up 6.9 won from the previous session.

Bond prices ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds shed 2.8 basis points to 2.19 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds decreased 3.6 basis points to 2.71 percent.

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