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Seoul stocks inch up ahead of quarterly reports

Apr 23,2019
Local stocks closed slightly higher Monday as investors took a wait-and-see stance ahead of the upcoming earnings reports from major companies such as Hyundai Motor, analysts said. The won sharply fell against the dollar.

After a choppy session, the benchmark Kospi inched up 0.50 points, or 0.02 percent, to close at 2,216.65. Trade volume was moderate at 488 million shares worth 4.57 trillion won ($4 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 414 to 394.

Individuals scooped up a net 70.3 billion won, while foreigners and institutional investors offloaded 18.6 billion won and 50.2 billion won, respectively.

“Investors sat on the sidelines due to a lack of growth momentum and the closure of U.S. stocks for the holiday, and they remain cautious ahead of earnings announcement by major firms,” said Lee Jae-sung, an analyst at Samsung Securities.

Most large-cap shares were mixed across the board.

Samsung Electronics moved up 0.11 percent to 45,350 won to snap a three-day losing streak. No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix, meanwhile, lost 1.59 percent to 80,500 won, and LG Electronics went down 0.54 percent to 73,500 won.

Bio stocks closed in positive terrain, with Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, gaining 1.48 percent to end at 376,000 won. Celltrion was up 1.15 percent to 220,500 won.

Auto stocks ended mixed, with the country’s leading automaker Hyundai Motor unchanged at 134,000 won and its auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis also unchanged at 229,000 won. Hyundai Motor’s sister company, Kia Motors, added 0.71 percent to 42,800 won.

Mobile carriers also ended mixed. SK Telecom gained 0.41 percent to 244,500 won, but KT lost 0.36 percent to 27,500 won. LG U+ remained unchanged at 14,400 won.

Naver ended steady at 118,000 won and Kakao gained 0.85 percent to 118,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq lost 0.56 points, or 0.07 percent, to close at 762.01. The index ended lower after foreigners and institutional investors offloaded semiconductor stocks amid the closure of U.S. stocks from the Easter holiday weekend.

The won closed at 1,141.5 won against the dollar, up 4.6 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds gained 1.3 basis points to 1.769 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds rose 3.0 basis points to 1.929 percent.

BY KO JUN-TAE, YONHAP [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]