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Kospi wobbles on doubts over trade war deal

Mar 07,2019
Korea’s main bourse closed lower Wednesday on institutional selling amid a lack of fresh market-moving leads and lingering uncertainties over a trade deal between the United States and China, analysts said. The Korean won weakened against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi shed 3.63 points, or 0.17 percent, to finish at 2,175.60. Trading volume was slim at 320.1 million shares worth 4.69 trillion won ($4.16 billion).

After opening lower, the index wobbled throughout the session in a tight range. It extended its losing run for a fourth consecutive session.

Foreign and institutional investors sold off a net 10.1 billion won and 73.1 billion won worth of local shares, respectively, while individuals picked up shares worth 63.7 billion won.

“Investors appear to take a wait-and-see posture as there are some unresolved external issues, such as global trade friction and the Brexit woes,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Major blue chips traded mixed, though big-cap tech shares tumbled on a negative outlook for the chip industry.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.56 percent to 44,000 won, while SK Hynix, the world’s No. 2 chipmaker, skidded 2.3 percent to 68,100 won.

Shares of mobile carriers stayed bearish, with No. 1 SK Telecom losing 1.15 percent to 258,000 won and KT falling 0.53 percent to 28,000 won. Shares of LG U+ also retreated 1.97 percent at 14,900 won.

No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor soared 2.47 percent to 124,500 won, while top chemical firm LG Chem inched down 0.13 percent to 373,000 won.

Major biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion grew 0.48 percent to 211,000 won, while Samsung Biologics retreated 1.05 percent to 378,000 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical stumbled 1.8 percent to 492,000 won.

Fine dust has blanketed the country in recent days, pulling up shares of air purifier manufacturers.

Dayou Winia spiked 24.14 percent to 3,625 won, and Winix surged 11.93 percent to 18,300 won.

The secondary Kosdaq dropped 1.25 points, or 0.17 percent, to end the session at 746.70.

The tech-heavy index retreated following the fall of the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index by 0.5 percent.

The Korean won closed at 1,128.80 won against the dollar, up 3.3 won from Tuesday’s close.

Bond prices ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds 0.8 basis points to 1.83 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds retreated 0.8 basis points to 2.02 percent.

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