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Local stocks gain despite trade talks impasse

Aug 25,2018
Seoul shares rose on Friday thanks to foreign and institutional buying, despite an inconclusive end to trade talks between the United States and China. The won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 10.61 points, or 0.46 percent, to close at 2,293.21. The index has been on the rise for six consecutive trading days.

Trading volume was moderate at 340.99 million shares worth 5.052 trillion won ($4.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering decliners 481 to 327.

Foreigners and institutions bought a combined 135.32 billion won worth of stocks. But individuals sold a net 199.67 billion won in stocks, weighing on the main index.

“Given that the United States’ request that China make an effort to strengthen its currency to facilitate fair trade didn’t work, investors here already did not think that bilateral trade talks would result in positive results,” said Noh Dong-kil, an analyst from Shinhan Investment.

Most of the large-cap stocks advanced, with leading steelmaker Posco rising 0.63 percent to 319,000 won, No. 1 wireless services provider SK Telecom climbing 1.93 percent to 263,500 won and leading oil refiner SK Innovation gaining 1.02 percent to 197,500 won.

But market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.11 percent to 46,150 won, cosmetics giant Amorepacific declined 0.55 percent to 269,500 won and Naver lost 1.81 percent to 758,000 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor, Samsung’s construction arm Samsung C&T and Hyundai Steel all stood still.

By sectors, the telecom industry was strong, gaining 2.1 percent, followed by pharmaceuticals at 2 percent and chemicals at 1.1 percent.

The tech-heavy Kosdaq closed at 798.23 on Friday, up 6.95 points, or 0.88 percent, from the previous trading day.

Foreign and institutional investors were buyers, while retail investors offloaded shares.

Entertainment giant CJ ENM rose 5.49 percent to 259,200 won, and CJ’s drama production subsidiary Studio Dragon grew 2.36 percent to 112,700 won. KakaoM, which operates the country’s largest music streaming service Melon, fell 1.4 percent to 98,400 won.

The Korean currency closed at 1,118.90 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.50 won from the previous trading session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended mixed.

The three-year Treasury yield remained unchanged at 1.963 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds fell 0.1 basis points to 2.173 percent.

BY KIM JEE-HEE, YONHAP [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]