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Stocks flat as investors wait for summit results

Feb 26,2019
Korean stocks closed nearly flat Monday as investors chose to wait and see ahead the upcoming summit between the United States and North Korea slated for later this week, analysts said. The local currency gained against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi edged up 2.06 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,232.56. Trading volume was relatively light at 333 million shares worth 4.59 trillion won ($4.09 billion)

The index hit its highest level since Oct. 8 last year.

Analysts said investors sat on the sidelines ahead of the second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The U.S. government’s decision to extend the deadline for the trade deal with China boosted investor sentiment, but the impact was limited as it was already reflected in prices.

“The increase sparked by the trade deal between the United States and China was limited as investors sought after profits,” said Lee Young-gon, a researcher from Hana Financial Investment. Lee added that investors mostly sat on the sidelines ahead of the historic summit between the United States and North Korea.

Foreigners offloaded a net 79 billion won of shares, while individuals were net buyers of 9-billion-won worth. Institutions scooped up a net 80 billion won.

Major blue chips traded mixed.

LG Chem added 0.52 percent to 385,500 won, while LG Household & Health Care shed 0.93 percent to 1,275,000 won. S-Oil shed 1.47 percent to 100,500 won.

Hyundai Motor closed unchanged at 121,000 won, while its auto parts affiliate Hyundai Mobis rose 0.47 percent to 214,000 won. Kia Motors advanced 0.28 percent to 35,700 won.

Samsung Electronics rose 0.42 percent to 47,350 won. Other major tech firms lost ground, with No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix falling 1.69 percent to 75,400 won and LG Electronics losing 2.60 percent to 71,300 won.

Pharmaceutical firms also closed lower, with Celltrion losing 1.45 percent to 204,000 won and Samsung BioLogics falling 1.73 percent to 370,000 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical surrendered 1.13 percent to 482,000 won.

The Kosdaq rose 7.02 points, or 0.94 percent, to end yesterday’s session at 750.40. The rise of the Philadelphia semiconductor index by 1.1 percent led to the inflow of foreign capital, resulting in strength in semiconductor and IT-related shares.

The Korean won finished at 1,121.00 won against the dollar, down 4.2 won from the last session’s close.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 0.5 basis points to 1.83 percent, and the yield on 10-year-bonds inched up 0.4 basis points to 2.01 percent.

BY JIN MIN-JI, YONHAP [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]