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Kospi closes lower amid global trade tensions

Nov 20,2019
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Stocks closed lower Tuesday as investors remained cautious over mixed signals around a potential U.S.-China trade deal, analysts said. The Korean won lost ground against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi fell 7.45 points, or 0.34 percent, to reach 2,153.24. Trading volume was high at 814 million shares worth 5.4 trillion won ($4.6 billion), with losers outnumbering winners 561 to 280.

Stocks opened weak, bucking overnight gains on Wall Street.

“Although the U.S. stock market stayed solid, it was non-cyclical stocks that led the growth, which isn’t really a positive factor for the South Korean stock market,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities. “A drop in international oil prices also dampened market sentiment.”

Foreigners and institutions were net sellers, unloading 10 billion won and 120 billion won worth of shares, respectively. Individual investors snatched up 94 billion won worth of shares on the Seoul bourse.

Most large caps closed in negative terrain.

Samsung Electronics stayed flat at 53,500 won, while chipmaker SK Hynix lost 0.23 percent to 85,300 won.

Hyundai Motor dived 0.79 percent to 125,000 won, and its sister company Kia Motors dropped 0.46 percent to 43,500 won. But auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis gained 0.59 percent to 257,000 won.

Pharmaceutical firms were among the losers, with Celltrion dipping 1.61 percent to reach 183,500 won and Samsung BioLogics sliding 0.75 percent to 399,000 won.

Portal operator Naver shed 4.48 percent to close at 170,500 won.

Korea Electric Power, the state-run utility firm, advanced 0.90 percent to 28,100 won.

Telecom shares were mixed. Mobile carrier SK Telecom gained 0.41 percent to 245,500 won and KT inched down 0.36 percent at 27,400 won. Their smaller rival LG U+ shed 0.72 percent at 14,000.

Refiners traded lower. SK Innovation moved down 0.94 percent to end at 158,500 won and S-Oil, the third-largest oil refiner, lost 1.94 percent to end at 96,100 won.

The secondary Kosdaq dropped 6.81 points, or 1.02 percent, to close at 662.53.

The local currency closed at 1,167.60 won against the dollar, up 3.1 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices were traded in positive terrain. The yield on three-year bonds shed 3.0 basis points to 1.488 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds dropped 1.2 basis points to 1.81 percent.

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