+ A

Cancellation of talks takes fizz out of markets

Nov 08,2018
Korean shares ended lower Wednesday as U.S. midterm election results rolled in and the postponement of U.S.-North Korea talks increased investor concerns. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi slid into negative territory towards the end of the session, falling 10.93 points or 0.52 percent, to 2,078.69.

Trading volume was moderate at 471.0 million shares worth 6.25 trillion won ($5.56 billion).

Analysts said reports of friction in U.S.-North Korea talks stirred investors, while the U.S. midterm election results did not have a big impact on investor sentiment.

“While investors have digested the elections issue, the delay in the U.S.-North Korea talks appeared to dampen investor sentiment,” said Ha In-whan, an analyst at SK Securities.

“The partial victory for President Donald Trump would block much of his agenda, but the shift in Congress would not make any tangible changes to America’s ongoing trade frictions with China, as trade issues are under the executive branch.”

Offshore investors sold a net 60.0 billion won and institutional investors a net 64.5 billion won. Retail investors were net buyers for the third consecutive session, picking up a net 97.2 billion won.

Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion sank 3.11 percent to 233,500 won, and Samsung BioLogics decreased 0.25 percent to 400,000 won.

Steel and chemical stocks also lost ground on profit taking. Top steelmaker Posco fell 1.29 percent to 268,000 won, and LG Chem went down 2.86 percent to 340,000 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor ended the session unchanged from the previous session at 107,500 won, while its sister company Kia Motors retreated 1.38 percent to 28,550 won.

Meanwhile, market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 0.57 percent to 44,000 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix went up 1.00 percent to 70,800 won.

The junior Kosdaq also ended the session lower, declining 9.18 points or 1.33 percent to 682.37. The tech and bio-heavy index followed the benchmark index, falling after reports of the delay in U.S.-North Korea talks. Institutions were net sellers for the sixth consecutive session in the secondary index.

The Korean won closed at 1,123.30 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.50 won from Tuesday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds was down 2.0 basis points to 1.96 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds fell 3.6 basis points to 2.26 percent.

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