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Stocks little changed ahead of trading holiday

Dec 31,2019
Stocks closed lower in the final trading session of 2019 on Monday amid a lack of market-moving momentum. The won rose against the dollar.

Kospi fell 6.54 points, or 0.3 percent, to finish at 2,197.67. Trade volume was low at 410 million shares worth 4 trillion won ($3.45 billion), with gainers outpacing losers 467 to 359.

Analysts said optimism over the trade negotiations between the United States and China was already reflected in, and investors took a breather ahead of the end of the year’s trading.

“Investors are concerned that U.S. stocks have risen too fast and too much, and investors are cashing in recent gains,” Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities said.

Foreigners sold a net 328 billion won worth of local stocks, and individual investors scooped up a net 122 billion won. Institutions bought more shares than they sold at 193 billion won.

Samsung Electronics moved down 1.24 percent to 55,800 won, and chipmaker SK Hynix fell 1.98 percent to 94,100 won. Home appliances maker LG Electronics, in contrast, rose 0.42 percent to 72,100 won.

Chemical shares traded mixed, with LG Chem advancing 2.25 percent to 317,500 won while oil refiner S-Oil decreased 0.83 percent to 95,300 won. Cosmetics maker Amorepacific added 2.56 percent to 200,000 won.

Pharmaceutical firms were also mixed, with Celltrion losing 1.63 percent at 181,000 won while Samsung BioLogics gained 0.81 percent to 433,000 won.

Mobile carriers closed higher, with SK Telecom rising 0.21 percent to 238,000 won and its rival KT increasing 1.12 percent to 27,000 won. LG U+ moved up 0.71 percent to 14,200 won.

Hanjin KAL, the holding company of logistics conglomerate Hanjin Group, rose 0.5 percent to 40,000 won.

Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Won-tae and his mother offered a public apology Monday for what could be seen as a family feud over the control of the group.

The secondary Kosdaq inched up by 8.59 points, or 1.30 percent, to close at 669.83.

The Korean won closed at 1,156.40 won against the U.S. dollar, sharply down 5.10 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.0 basis point to 1.360 percent, and the return on the benchmark 10-year government bonds also declined 1.7 basis points to 1.87 percent.

BY KANG JAE EUN, YONHAP [kang.jaeeun@joongang.co.kr]