+ A

Trade tension continues to damage Seoul stocks

Nov 06,2018
Korean shares ended lower Monday as investor worries surrounding the trade tension between the United States and China continued. The Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The main Kospi fell 19.08 points, or 0.91 percent, to close the session at 2,076.92.

Trading volume was low at 353.46 million shares worth 4.83 trillion won ($4.30 billion).

“Concerns over the U.S.-China trade disputes have emerged again, after the White House denied a report that U.S. President Donald Trump has directed his aides to devise a deal to resolve trade disputes with China,” said Kim Yoo-kyeom, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

Foreign investors turned net sellers after three sessions of buying in the main index, selling a net 53.6 billion won worth of shares. Institutions also dumped a net 483.5 billion won, while retail investors scooped in a net 518.0 billion won worth of shares.

Most large-cap stocks ended in negative territory.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics declined 0.79 percent to 43,800 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix fell 2.89 percent to 70,500 won.

Carmakers also ended down as industry leader Hyundai Motor dropped 5.45 percent to 104,000 won, and its sister company Kia Motors ended 4.23 percent down to 28,300 won.

Top steelmaker Posco also closed the session down, falling 3.28 percent to 265,000 won.

Top portal operator Naver retreated 2.58 percent to 113,500 won, and rival tech company Kakao declined 2.75 percent to 95,500 won.

Chemical companies were among losers as industry leader LG Chem fell 0.56 percent to 356,000 won, and Lotte Chemical edged down 0.35 percent to 284,500 won.

Pharmaceutical shares ended mixed. Celltrion rose 1.48 percent to 240,000 won, while Samsung biopharmaceutical unit, Samsung BioLogics dipped 0.62 percent to 399,000 won.

Unlike the Kospi, the junior Kosdaq ended the session up, rising 1.29 points or 0.19 percent to end at 691.94. Although the bio and tech-heavy index started the session lower weighed down by a 1.50 percent decline in the U.S. Philadelphia Semiconductor Index on Friday, it climbed to positive territory as investors scooped in pharmaceutical-related shares.

The Korean won ended at 1,123.50 won, up 1.90 won against the greenback.

Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on three-year bonds remained unchanged at 1.98 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds fell 0.4 basis points to 2.28 percent.

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