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Stocks decline on IMF global growth warning

Jan 23,2019
Stocks fell Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its outlook for 2019, triggered by the weakest China growth in nearly three decades, analysts said. The Korean won depreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi fell 6.84 points, or 0.32 percent, to finish at 2,117.77. Trading volume was moderate at 414.46 million shares worth 4.83 trillion won ($4.27 billion).

“China’s weak GDP data for 2018 and the IMF’s growth downgrade fueled risk-averse sentiment in the global financial market, also negatively affecting the local market,” Seo Sang-yeong, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said.

Institutional investors sold a net 115.4 billion won worth of stocks and individuals sold a net 18.7 billion won worth of shares. Foreigner investors bought a net 125.6 billion won worth of stocks.

Tech shares were depressed.

Samsung Electronics fell 1.40 percent to 42,150 won, and chipmaker SK Hynix shed 0.60 percent to 66,600 won.

LG Chem fell 1.08 percent to 366,000 won, and Posco dropped 0.37 percent to 267,000 won.

Financials also declined.

Mirae Asset Daewoo, Korea’s largest brokerage by market value, decreased 0.42 percent to 7,170 won, and its smaller rival NH Investment & Securities went down 1.08 percent to 13,550 won.

Naver, the nation’s top portal operator, backtracked 0.76 percent to 45,750 won after the company said it wouldn’t join a bid for an Internet-only bank.

In contrast, Samsung BioLogics, Samsung Group’s health care unit, rose 1.76 percent to 404,000 won. Celltrion rose 1.01 percent to 200,000 won.

Auto shares rose, with Hyundai Motor increasing 0.39 percent to 127,500 won and its parts maker, Hyundai Mobis, inching up 0.24 percent to 205,000 won. Kia Motors rose 1.41 percent to 35,850 won.

No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom rose 0.19 percent to 264,000 won, and its smaller rival KT rose 0.34 percent to 29,100 won. LG U+ inched up 0.90 percent to 16,750 won.

The Kosdaq fell 1.07 points, or 0.10 percent, to end the session at 694.55. The tech and bio-heavy index was dragged down by foreign and institutional selling of IT shares.

The Korean won closed at 1,130.50 won against the dollar, up 2.40 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.8 basis points to 1.80 percent. The return on 10-year bonds fell 3.1 basis points to 2.00 percent.

BY KIM HEYU, YONHAP [kim.heyu@joongang.co.kr]