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Stocks are little changed on MSCI adjustment

Nov 27,2019
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Stocks closed lower Tuesday, paring earlier gains on massive foreign selling. The local currency slightly lost ground against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi shed 2.15 points, or 0.10 percent, to close at 2,121.35, snapping a two-day winning streak. Trading volume was moderate at some 524 million shares worth about 7.4 trillion won ($6.3 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 534 to 291.

Local shares opened higher, gaining 6.64 points, or 0.31 percent, in the first 15 minutes of trading on hopes for an imminent trade deal between the United States and China.

U.S. President Donald Trump further boosted investor sentiment, saying a trade deal with China was “potentially very close.”

“All New York stock indices rose simultaneously to reach record highs as a potential U.S.-China trade deal became more visible,” said Hana Financial Investment analyst Kim Hoon-gil.

“China recently announced a move to tighten its intellectual property rules, further heightening the prospect of a trade deal,” Kim added.

Foreigners drove the index down, offloading a net 858 billion won.

“Foreigners turned to massive selling on the adjustment of South Korea’s weigh in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which put downward pressure on local stocks,” said Choi You-june, an analyst at Shinhan Financial Investment.

Institutions purchased a net 760.2 billion won, while individuals scooped up a net 64.4 billion won.

Large caps closed mixed.

Samsung Electronics remained flat at 51,800 won, while chipmaker SK Hynix added 0.73 percent to 82,300 won.

Automaker Hyundai Motor plunged 2 percent to 122,500 won, with Kia Motors tumbling 1.68 percent to 43,950 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis plunged 3.89 percent to 247,000 won.

Samsung BioLogics retreated 0.51 percent to 389,000 won, and Celltrion dipped 0.55 percent to 180,000 won.

Naver was down 0.57 percent to close at 173,000, and Kakao climbed 0.64 percent at 157,500.

Steelmaker Posco was up 2.41 percent to 233,500 won, while Korean Air Lines edged up 0.2 percent at 25,550 won. The secondary Kosdaq gained 4.19 points, or 0.65 percent, to close at 651.59.

The won closed at 1,176.70 won per dollar, up 0.70 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, were mixed. The yield on three-year bonds gained 0.2 basis points to 1.477 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds dropped 1.6 basis points to 1.75 percent.

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