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Kospi falls after Trump and Kim go home early

Mar 01,2019
Korean stocks closed lower Thursday following uncertainties after the U.S.-North Korea summit ended early with no agreement, analysts said. The Korean currency depreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi sharply plunged 39.35 points, or 1.76 percent, to 2,195.44. Trading volume was high at 489 million shares worth 8 trillion won ($7.15 billion).

Analysts said Seoul shares closed lower as investors expressed concern over the outcome of the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam.

During the session, reports showed the two might cancel their working lunch, which hinted that their meetings would end fruitless.

After the market closed, the White House announced the two countries failed to reach any agreement: the lunch and signing ceremony were canceled altogether.

“Reports that the two leaders canceled their lunch and signing ceremony weighed down on construction and North Korea-related shares, having an impact on the overall market,” said Lee Jae-seung, a researcher at Samsung Securities. “The latest rebound in the index was also a burden.”

Individuals sold a net 62.3-billion-won worth of stock and foreigners sold a net 257-billion-won worth of shares. Institutions bought a net 316.9 billion won of stock.

Korea’s stock markets will be closed Friday to commemorate the March 1 Independence Movement that took place in 1919.

Samsung Electronics moved down 3.53 percent to 45,100 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix decreased 5.02 percent to 70,000 won.

Mobile carriers also closed bearish, with No. 1 SK Telecom falling 0.95 percent to 260,500 won and KT losing 0.7 percent to 28,450 won. LG U + decreased 1.32 percent to 15,000 won.

Top steelmaker Posco shed 1.13 percent to 263,000 won, and Korea Zinc slid 1.72 percent to 456,500 won. Hyundai Steel moved down 2.25 percent to 49,850 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 20.91 points, or 2.78 percent, to end the session at 731.25.

The tech heavy index was dragged down overnight by foreign selling of semiconductor and IT shares despite bullish pharmaceutical shares.

The Korean won finished at 1,124.70 won against the dollar, up 5.60 won from the previous day’s close.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds rose 0.5 basis points to 1.81 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds rose 0.2 basis points to 1.99 percent.

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