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Seoul stocks flat as investors worry about oil

Sept 18,2019
Stocks closed almost flat Tuesday as eased concerns over the U.S.-China trade dispute offset woes over spiking oil prices. The won fell sharply against the dollar.

After a choppy session, the benchmark Kospi inched up 0.11 points, or 0.01 percent, to close at 2,062.33. Trade volume was moderate at 497 million shares worth 4.35 trillion won ($3.65 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 465 to 348.

Retail investors scooped up a net 97 billion won, while foreigners and institutional investors offloaded 79.7 billion won and 32.1 billion won, respectively.

The local stock market initially opened lower due to overnight falls on Wall Street as market sentiment was dampened by attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia over the weekend.

But the market attempted to rebound on eased concerns that the trade row between the world’s two largest economies may ease down the road with the unprecedented trade tussle morphing into reconciliation.

“Concerns over a slowdown in consumption due to oil price hikes were offset by eased woes over trade friction between the United States and China,” Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities, said.

Most large-cap shares were mixed across the board.

Samsung Electronics moved down 0.42 percent to 46,900 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix lost 0.13 percent to 79,400 won.

Airlines also closed bearish, with Korean Air sliding 0.62 percent to 23,950 won and the second-largest Asiana Airlines falling 1.83 percent to 5,360 won.

Refiners traded lower following the previous session’s gain. SK Innovation moved down 0.87 percent to end at 171,500 won and S-Oil, the third-largest oil refiner, lost 0.98 percent to end at 101,000 won.

Bio stocks closed in positive terrain. Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, jumped 7.33 percent to 315,000 won.

Auto stocks ended mixed, with Hyundai Motor moving down 1.56 percent to 126,000 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis, meanwhile, was up 1.43 percent to 248,000 won, and Kia Motors added 0.34 percent to 44,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq rose 5.69 points, or 0.89 percent, to close at 644.28.

The local currency closed at 1,190.7 won against the dollar, up 7.6 won from the previous session.

Bond prices closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds lost 3.4 basis points to 1.315 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds dropped 5.1 basis points to 1.84 percent.

BY KIM BYUNG-WOOK, YONHAP [kim.byungwook@joongang.co.kr]