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Seoul stocks slip as institutions, foreigners sell

Aug 07,2018
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Korean stocks finished slightly lower Monday as institutional and foreign buyers offloaded large-cap shares, partially offsetting heavy buying by individuals. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi inched down 1.18 points, or 0.05 percent, to close at 2,286.5. Trade volume was moderate with 4.5 trillion won ($4 billion) changing hands.

Foreigners bought a net 4 billion won while institutions sold a net 67 billion won. Individual investors purchased a net 17.2 billion won.

“The Kospi opened higher but headed into negative terrain around 10:30 a.m. when the Chinese market opened,” said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plunged 1.29 percent Monday following China’s announcement Friday that it would retaliate against U.S. trade aggression with tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.

Most large-cap shares ended mixed, with steelmakers and insurance leading the gains.

No. 1 steelmaker Posco increased 2.64 percent to close at 330,500 won and Korea Zinc added 1.14 percent to 400,500 won. Hyundai Steel moved up 2.25 percent to 54,500 won.

Samsung Life Insurance climbed 3.57 percent to 98,600 won, while Samsung Marine & Fire Insurance jumped 3.95 percent to 276,000 won.

Samsung Electronics edged up 0.11 percent to 45,800 won. SK Hynix, a major chipmaker, lost 4.68 percent to end at 79,400 won.

Leading pharmaceutical company Samsung BioLogics advanced 1.53 percent to 398,000 won. Celltrion, by contrast, surrendered 2.32 percent to 274,000 won.

The Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) dropped 2.51 percent to 31,050 won. Amid an unprecedented heat wave, President Moon Jae-in called for measures to relieve the consumer burden of utility bills including an option to change the electricity pricing system. Kepco holds a monopoly in the country’s electricity supply.

The secondary Kosdaq dropped 7.40 points, or 0.94 percent, to 781.41. The tech and bio-heavy index ended lower despite a 0.2 percent incline of the U.S. Philadelphia Semiconductor index as institutional and foreign investors offloaded pharmaceutical shares en masse.

The local currency closed at 1,124.0 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.6 won from the last session’s close.

Bond prices ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.1 basis points to 2.10 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds lost 1.9 basis points to 2.56 percent.


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