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Ongoing global tensions push Kospi down

Mar 08,2019
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Korea’s main bourse closed lower Thursday as investor sentiment was dampened by concerns over the global economic slowdown and uncertainties over trade friction between the United States and China, analysts said. The Korean won depreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi shed 9.81 points, or 0.45 percent, to finish at 2,165.79. Trading volume was slim at 287.9 million shares worth 4.7 trillion won ($4.21 billion).

The index opened lower, tracking Wall Street losses, and fluctuated throughout the session. It once rose to positive terrain but ended up extending its losing run for a fifth consecutive session.

Individuals bought a net 111-billion-won worth of stocks and foreign investors bought a net 0.1-billion-won worth of shares. Institutions sold a net 113.1 billion won of stocks.

“While investors are awaiting progress in a trade deal between the United States and China, concerns over the global economic slowdown seem to spoil their appetite for risk,” said Kim Yu-kyum, an expert at Cape Investment & Securities, citing the recent low-volume sessions.

“Expectations for China’s economic stimulus measures also appear to cause investors to shift their eyes from the Seoul market to China,” he added.

Bio and chemical shares lost ground, though tech blue chips rose on investors’ bargain hunting.

Major pharmaceutical firm Celltrion fell 1.90 percent to 207,000 won, and Samsung BioLogics decreased 0.79 percent to 375,000 won.

Leading chemical firm LG Chem skidded 1.88 percent to 366,000 won, and top steelmaker Posco dropped 1.76 percent to 250,500 won.

S-Oil fell 2.86 percent to 102,000 won and SK Innovation fell 1.04 percent to 190,000 won.

Mobile carriers finished bearish, with SK Telecom losing 1.55 percent to 254,000 won, and KT sliding 0.36 percent to 27,900 won.

But Samsung Electronics rose 1.02 percent to 44,450 won, with SK Hynix remaining unchanged at 68,100 won. Hyundai Motor also rose 0.80 percent to 125,500 won.

The Kosdaq fell 9.87 points, or 1.32 percent, to end the session at 736.83. The tech heavy index was dragged down by foreign and institutional selling of shares overnight.

The Korean won was trading at 1,129.00 won against the dollar, up 0.20 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds lost 1.1 basis points to 1.82 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds lost 1.6 basis points to 2.01 percent.


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