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Local stocks fall as foreigners sell off shares

Oct 05,2018
Korean stocks closed sharply lower Thursday as foreigners offloaded local shares. The Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi nosedived 35.08 points, or 1.52 percent, to close at 2,274.49. Trading volume was moderate at 7.4 trillion won ($6.5 billion).

It marked the first time that the figure closed below the 2,300-level since reaching 2,286.23 on Sept. 13.

Analysts said the main bourse lost ground, as foreigners continued to offload local shares amid a stronger U.S. dollar.

“The stronger U.S. dollar and the tension between Washington and Beijing weighed down the Kospi market,” said Kim Young-hwan, an analyst from KB Securities. Friction between the United States and China escalated from ongoing trade matters as a Chinese warship nearly collided with a U.S. naval ship in the South China Sea on Sunday.

Overseas investors sold a net 525 billion won worth of shares on the main exchange. Individual investors scooped up a net 581 billion won while institutions offloaded a net 63 billion won.

Tech shares closed bearish, with Samsung Electronics falling a sharp 2.19 percent to 44,700 won and chipmaker SK Hynix losing 2.37 percent to 70,000 won. LG Electronics dropped 1.29 percent to 69,000 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor slipped 3.11 percent to 124,500 won and its sister company Kia Motors dropped 3.02 percent to 33,700 won. Hyundai Mobis shed 3.9 percent to 209,500 won.

Korea’s No. 1 steelmaker Posco plunged 6.63 percent to 274,500 won and Korea Zinc decreased 0.94 percent to 421,000 won. Hyundai Steel moved down 3.22 percent to 54,100 won.

Pharmaceutical shares closed higher, with Samsung BioLogics adding 2.14 percent to 526,000 won and Hanmi Pharmaceutical rising 0.86 percent to 466,500 won.

Leading mobile carrier SK Telecom added 2.76 percent to 279,500 won and KT gained 1.02 percent to 29,800 won. LG U+ increased 2.65 percent to 17,450 won.

The secondary Kosdaq also fell 5.99 points, or 0.75 percent, ending at 789.00. The tech and bio-heavy index ended in negative terrain for the fourth consecutive session, dragged down by foreign selling of IT shares despite a rise in the Nasdaq Biotech index.

The Korean won closed at 1,129.90 won against the U.S. dollar, up 10.70 won from the previous trading session. Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 5.1 basis points to 2.07 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds rose 7.4 basis points to 2.45 percent.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN, YONHAP [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]