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Kospi dips; Kosdaq advances for 5th day

Mar 28,2008
Korean stocks closed slightly lower yesterday as investors locked in profits from recent gains, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 3.43 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,676.24. Volume was thin at 251.7 million shares worth 4.3 trillion won ($4.4 billion), with losers outpacing gainers, 409 to 375.
“The local index started weaker following overnight falls in U.S. markets and recent gains, but it trimmed some losses in afternoon trading after the Chinese market pared steep earlier falls,” said Kim Young-gak, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.
U.S. markets closed lower Wednesday on weak economic data. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.9 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index shed 0.7 percent.
Chip makers were heavily dented, spurred by foreign selling. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics lost 1.1 percent to 605,000 won, and chip giant Hynix Semiconductor fell 2.5 percent to 25,800 won.
Hyundai Engineering and Construction, the country’s No. 3 builder, declined 6.2 percent to 83,500 won on rising expectations that stake sales in the builder are likely to be delayed. The construction firm also fell on a report that North Korea has expelled all South Korean government officials from their joint office in the inter-Korean industrial complex.
But automakers gained ground with top carmaker Hyundai Motor rising 2.7 percent to 76,900 won.
The Kosdaq advanced for the fifth trading day with net buying by institutional and retail investors. The secondary market ended at 629.61, gaining 1.23 points, or 0.2 percent.
The local currency finished at 987.8 won against the dollar, down 1 won from Wednesday’s close, as offshore investors snapped up the greenback, dealers said. Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, rose.
Yonhap


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