+ A

Spooked punters push Kospi below 2,000

Jan 04,2019
Korean shares ended lower on Thursday as the benchmark Kospi fell for the second consecutive session of the new year, dropping 16.30 points, or 0.81 percent, and closing below the psychologically significant 2,000 level at 1,993.70. The Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

Trading volume was moderate at 424.20 million shares worth 5.32 trillion won ($4.72 billion).

Most industries ended in negative terrain. Electronic shares dropped 3.10 percent on average and pharmaceutical shares fell 1.61 percent. The chemical sector saw declines of 1.28 percent and the medical equipment industry shed an average of 1.17 percent.

Institutional investors were net sellers, offloading a net 168.4 billion won worth of shares. Individual investors picked up a net 61.8 billion won and foreign investors bought a net 102.3 billion won worth.

Large-cap electronic shares fell as market bellwether Samsung Electronics ended down 2.97 percent to close the session at 37,600 won. No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix also declined, tumbling 4.79 percent at 57,700 won. Electronic parts supplier Samsung Electro-Mechanics skidded 6.00 percent to close at 94,000 won.

Leading chemical company LG Chem lost 2.67 percent to 328,000 won and Lotte Chemical retreated 2.73 percent at 267,500 won.

Refiners also ended in negative terrain, with SK Innovation closing 1.48 percent lower at 166,500 won and S-Oil inching 0.33 percent lower at 91,000 won.

Large-cap pharmaceutical shares were mixed as Celltrion fell 1.86 percent to 210,500 won, while Samsung BioLogics rose 0.67 percent to 376,500 won.

Auto shares were winners, with Hyundai Motor advancing 2.19 percent, ending at 116,500 won, and its sister company Kia Motors edging up 0.15 percent to 32,850 won. Auto-parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis rose 3.78 percent to 192,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq also ended lower, falling 12.35 points, or 1.85 percent, closing the day at 657.02. The tech and bio-heavy index was weighed by foreign and institutional selling of semiconductor-related shares despite a 0.46 percent rise in the Nasdaq Composite Index overnight. The semiconductor sector in the junior index fell 3.20 percent on average.

The Korean won closed at 1,127.70 won against the greenback, up 8.70 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended mixed. The return on three-year bonds fell 0.6 basis points to 1.80 percent, while the yield on 10-year bonds added 0.7 basis points to 1.96 percent.

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