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Stocks decline almost 1% on earnings gloom

July 25,2019
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Stocks closed lower Wednesday on concerns over weak corporate earnings, led by losses in tech blue chips. The won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi fell 19.15 points, or 0.91 percent, to 2,082.3. Trading volume was moderate at 841.58 million shares worth 4.11 trillion won ($3.49 billion), with losers overwhelming gainers 631 to 200.

Starting lower, the index extended losses to again fall below the 2,100 mark as institutions dumped large-caps on concerns over weak corporate earnings from major players and an escalating trade conflict with Japan.

Investors were closely watching whether the United States and China will resume trade talks next week. Also, investors remained wary of further Japanese export restrictions on South Korea.

“Although fresh hope is rising over trade talks between the U.S. and China, the drawn-out issue has failed to inject impetus into the local stock market,” said Lee Young-kon, an analyst at Hana Investment & Securities. “Investors also seem to be trying to lock in recent gains.”

Institutions dumped a net 113.32 billion won worth of local stocks, while foreigners and individuals purchased a net 58.92 billion won and 52.17 billion won, respectively.

Tech shares declined. Samsung Electronics fell 1.9 percent to 46,400 won, and major chipmaker SK Hynix was down 1.52 percent at 77,600 won.

Auto shares ended mixed. Hyundai Motor gained 0.38 percent to 132,500 won, and Kia Motors rose 3.05 percent to 43,900 won. But auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis inched down 0.21 percent to 232,500 won.

Bio shares ended in the negative territory. Celltrion decreased 1.1 percent to 180,000 won, and Samsung BioLogics, Samsung’s health care unit, sank 2.77 percent to 281,000 won after reporting operating losses in the second quarter.

S-Oil, the nation’s the third-largest oil refiner, edged down 0.32 percent to 94,500 won, after swinging to red in the second quarter due to weak refining margins and currency losses.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 8.82 points, or 1.32 percent, to close at 659.83. The bio and tech-heavy index closed lower as institutions mass offloaded local stocks from worries of economic recession.

The local currency closed at 1,177.9 won against the dollar, down 1.0 won from Tuesday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.8 basis points to 1.321 percent and the return on 10-year bonds lost 0.7 basis points to 1.465 percent.

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