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Stocks flat on U.S.-China meeting uncertainty

Nov 30,2018
Korean shares barely moved on Thursday as uncertainties surrounding the U.S.-China trade dispute continued to weigh on the market. The Korean won appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi started the session higher, reaching 2,136.74 at one point, but declined throughout the session to end the day up 5.88 points, or 0.28 percent, at 2,114.10. Trading volume was moderate at 300.49 million shares worth 5.12 trillion won ($4.6 billion).

“The Kospi rose earlier in the session helped by a rise in U.S. stock markets,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

“The rise, however, was limited by the wait-and-see approach to the U.S.-China trade negotiations and the lowered growth forecast of the global semiconductor market next year,” he added.

Foreigner investors were net buyers for the third consecutive session, picking up a net 325.2 billion won worth of stocks. Retail investors sold a net 271.4 billion won, and institutional investors turned net sellers after three consecutive sessions of buying, offloading a net 55.4 billion won.

Semiconductor-related shares were mixed as World Semiconductor Trade Statistics lowered its year-on-year growth forecast for the global semiconductor market next year to 2.6 percent from its earlier forecast of 5.2 percent.

Samsung Electronics remained unchanged at 43,150 won, while SK Hynix ended 0.56 percent down to 71,500 won. Refiners ended up as SK Innovation gained 0.26 percent to 196,500 won, and S-Oil added 0.95 percent to 106,000 won.

Leading steelmaker Posco also rose 1.46 percent to 244,000 won.

Gaming companies were among winners in the session as Netmarble advanced 2.71 percent to 132,500 won, and NCSoft closed up 0.59 percent to 508,000 won.

Auto shares ended lower, as Hyundai Motor fell 0.99 percent to 100,000 won, and Kia Motors declined 1.34 percent to 29,450 won.

The secondary Kosdaq ended the session lower, falling 4.64 points, or 0.66 percent, to end the day at 695.48. The tech and bio-heavy index fell as foreigners and institutions continued to offload shares for the second consecutive session.

The Korean won closed at 1,119.20 won against the greenback, down 7.30 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The return on three-year bonds fell 3.1 basis points to 1.89 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds dropped 4.1 basis points to 2.11 percent.

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