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Local shares drop over trade friction concerns

June 22,2018
Korean shares finished lower on Thursday as institutional and foreign investors offloaded large-cap shares amid persistent worries over trade friction between the United States and China. The Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi shed 26.08 points, or 1.1 percent, to finish at 2,337.83. Trade volume was moderate at 6.6 trillion won ($5.9 billion).

“There was a general lack of momentum for the local shares amid external factors, such as the trade war issue and a strong U.S. dollar,” said Kim Sung-hwan, an expert at Bookook Securities.

Foreigners dumped a net 129.4 billion won and institutional investors sold a net 310.7 billion won, while retailers picked up 409.3 billion won.

Bio shares and insurance shares dragged down the Kospi.

Samsung BioLogics, the conglomerate’s biopharmaceutical affiliate, shed 1.19 percent to end at 415,000 won after jumping more than 1 percent a day earlier.

Celltrion was down 1.68 percent to close at 292,000 won.

Samsung Life Insurance dropped 1.69 percent to 98,800 won, while Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance shed 2.60 percent to 262,000 won. Hanwha Life Insurance plunged 3.51 percent to 5,500 won.

Blue chips ended on a mixed note, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics going up 0.11 percent to 47,050 won after Moody’s Investors Service raised its outlook on the firm. Chip giant SK Hynix gained 0.8 percent to 88,500 won.

Auto stocks were bearish. Top automaker Hyundai Motor gave up 1.93 percent to close at 127,000 won, and its sister company Kia Motors went down 2.22 percent to 30,800 won.

The secondary Kosdaq lost 13.95 points, or 1.66 percent, to 826.22.

Weak pharmaceutical and IT shares and mass institutional and foreign selling dragged down the tech-heavy index.

Institutions sold a net 17.7 billion won while foreigners sold a net 94.5 billion won. Individual investors bought a net 113.4 billion won.

Chemical and retail shares both declined 2.2 percent.

Pharmaceutical shares lost 2.1 percent, while semiconductors shed 1.8 percent.

The Korean currency closed at 1,112.80 won against the U.S. dollar, up 7.7 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds shed 1.4 basis points to 2.15 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds lost 2.4 basis points to 2.59 percent.

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