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Foreign investors go on spree but Kospi is flat

Feb 08,2019
Korean stocks closed almost flat after a choppy session on Thursday as institutions sold shares amid uncertainties, offsetting a massive buying spree by foreigners, analysts said. The Korean won depreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi was down 0.04 point to close at 2,203.42. Trading volume was moderate at 423 million shares worth 6.25 trillion won ($5.56 billion).

Foreign investors bought a net 161.9 billion won worth of stock and individuals bought a net 68 billion won. Institutions sold a net 250.5 billion won worth.

“Factors, such as progress in the U.S.-China trade talks and the scheduled summit between the United States and North Korea affected the local market in a positive way,” said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities. “However, the momentum was limited due to profit-taking.”

Top cap Samsung Electronics ended at 46,200 won, down 0.32 percent, while global chipmaker SK Hynix gained 1.05 percent to close at 76,700 won.

Top steelmaker Posco rose 2.03 percent to 276,000 won, and Hyundai Steel added 0.59 percent to 51,300 won. Korea Zinc moved up 2.17 percent to 448,000 won.

Bio shares ended lower, with Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, losing 2.45 percent to end at 378,500 won. Shares of leading biosimilar manufacturer Celltrion lost 0.23 percent to end at 214,000 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 2.70 percent to 126,000 won, and Hyundai Mobis fell 1.34 percent to 221,000 won. Kia Motors moved up 0.70 percent to 36,100 won.

Mobile carriers closed with both gains and losses, with No. 1 player SK Telecom moving down 0.19 percent to 259,500 won and second-largest KT inching up 0.17 percent to 28,650 won. LG U +, the smallest in the country, was off 0.68 percent to 14,700 won.

LG Chem moved up 0.41 percent to 369,500 won and LG Household & Health Care fell 0.40 percent to 1,249,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq rose 11.87 points, or 1.66 percent, to end the session at 728.79.

The tech and bio-heavy index was lifted by foreign buying and a 2.6-percent rise in the U.S. Philadelphia Semiconductor Index overnight.

The Korean won closed at 1,124.10 won against the dollar, up 5.30 won from the previous session.

Bond prices ended mixed. The yield on three-year bonds fell 0.2 basis points to 1.80 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds rose 1.2 basis points to 2.00 percent.

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