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Seoul stocks inch up despite industrial decline

July 04,2018
Seoul shares edged up Tuesday as gains by chipmakers including Samsung Electronics offset declines in other major industrial sectors. The won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi gained a marginal 1.22 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,272.76. Trade volume was moderate at 5.8 trillion won ($5.2 billion).

The main index was buoyed by foreign buying of shares that had ended lower in previous sessions. The steep depreciation of the Chinese yuan, which exceeded the 6.7 per dollar level for the first time in 11 months, kept the Kospi from closing higher.

“A possible trade war between the United States and China and additional U.S. rate hikes expected later this year remain as major uncertainties for investors,” said Lee Eun-taek, an analyst at KB Securities.

Foreigners bought 201.7 billion won worth of stocks. Institutions sold a net 180.6 billion won while individuals offloaded 45.3 billion won.

Large-cap shares won.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 1.32 percent to 46,150 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix climbed 2.87 percent to 86,100 won.

Construction shares also saw modest gains. Hyundai Steel inched up 0.20 percent to 50,500 won, while Hyundai Engineering & Construction climbed 2.96 percent to 55,600 won.

Among losers, top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 1.21 percent to 122,000 won, and state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corporation declined 2.31 percent to 31,700 won.

The secondary Kosdaq rose 5.89 points, or 0.75 percent, to 795.71. The 0.9 percent incline of the U.S. Nasdaq Biotech index weighed on the tech-heavy index, as did bargain-purchasing by foreign investors.

Foreigners bought a net 161.6 billion won while institutions purchased a net 49.5 billion won worth of shares. Individuals sold a net 213.7 billion won.

Pharmaceutical and entertainment shares led the gains in the secondary index. Major biopharmaceutical firm Medytox gained 4.44 percent to 792,000 won. Hugel, another medical company, climbed 7.28 percent to 516,000 won.

Studio Dragon, CJ’s drama production subsidiary, rose 1.53 percent to 113,100 won. Major game developer Com2uS also gained 3.97 percent to 170,300 won.

The local currency closed at 1,118.70 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.30 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 1.5 basis points to 2.14 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds gained 4.7 basis points to 2.58 percent.

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