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Market ends flat as investors lock in profits

Feb 01,2019
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Korea’s main bourse ended nearly flat on Thursday as investors sought to lock in profits, analysts said. The Korean won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi edged down 1.35 points, or 0.06 percent, to finish at 2,204.85. Trading volume was high at 537 million shares worth 7.66 trillion won ($6.88 billion).

At the start of trading, Seoul shares traded higher as investors cheered the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold key rates steady.

Later in the day, however, the market lost some ground following losses by major tech shares and steel firms.

“The market was buoyed by the Federal Reserve’s monetary easing stance, but it later backtracked as investors sought to keep their profits,” said Lee Young-gon from Hana Financial Investment.

Foreign investors bought a net 283.8 billion won worth of stock. Institutions sold a net 173.5 billion won of stock and individuals sold a net 116 billion won worth of shares.

Samsung Electronics moved down 0.54 percent to 46,150 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix lost 2.64 percent to 73,900 won.

Top steelmaker Posco decreased 3.86 percent to 274,000 won, and Hyundai Steel slipped 0.19 percent to 51,200 won. In contrast, Korea Zinc moved up 1.03 percent to 440,500 won.

Samsung Life Insurance plunged 5.26 percent to 88,300 won.

Auto-shares ended mixed.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor closed unchanged at 129,500 won, and Hyundai Mobis climbed 0.22 percent to 225,000 won. Kia Motors moved up 0.55 percent to 36,350 won.

Mobile carriers ended mixed.

Top mobile carrier SK Telecom fell 0.19 percent to 258,000 won and its smaller rival KT dropped 1.04 percent to 28,600 won.

Pharmaceutical firms gained ground, with Celltrion adding 1.86 percent to 219,000 won and Samsung BioLogics improving 2.84 percent to 399,000 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical gained 0.81 percent to 434,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq rose 1.56 points, or 0.22 percent, to end the session at 716.86.

The tech heavy index was lifted by foreign buying of pharmaceutical shares and a 2.2-percent rise in Nasdaq Composite Index Wednesday.

The Korean won closed at 1,112.70 won against the dollar, down 3.60 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.8 basis points to 1.81 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds fell 5.0 basis points to 2.00 percent.


BY KIM HE-YU, YONHAP [kim.heyu@joongang.co.kr]