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Local stocks finish lower on foreign selling

June 16,2018
Korean shares ended lower Friday, as the benchmark Kospi shed 19.44 points, or 0.80 percent, to finish at 2,404.04. Trade volume was moderate at 8.93 trillion won ($8.14 billion).

Offshore investors dumped a net 556.2 billion won, while institutions picked up a net 284.1 billion won and retailers bought a net 266 billion won.

Financials were under heavy downward pressure and dragged down the index.

KB Financial Group fell 1.79 percent to 55,000 won, and Shinhan Financial lost 2.57 percent to 45,500 won.

Samsung Securities shed 1.07 percent to 36,900 won after Moody’s Investors Service cut the outlook on the firm from stable to negative due to its deteriorating funding and leverage profiles, mainly driven by Samsung’s increasing issuance of structured notes, such as equity linked securities.

Blue chips ended mixed, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics going down 1.14 percent to 47,650 won and chip giant SK Hynix adding 0.81 percent to 87,000 won. LG Chem rose 0.95 percent to 373,500 won, while steelmaker Posco skidded 1.22 percent to 365,000 won.

Samsung SDS nosedived 14 percent to 196,500 won after Kim Sang-jo, chief of the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), vowed Thursday to get tough on unfair business practices by Korea’s family-controlled conglomerates.

During a press conference celebrating his first anniversary as the head of the FTC, Kim warned chaebol families to discard stakes they held in their conglomerates’ “nonessential affiliates,” such as system integration developers like Samsung SDS.

Family members who run Samsung are known to own more than 17 percent Samsung SDS’ shares.

Major bio shares had mixed outcomes. Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion advanced 6.61 percent to 298,500 won, while Samsung BioLogics, Samsung’s health care unit, remained unchanged at 408,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 1.66 points, or 0.19 percent, to 866.22. The tech-heavy index inclined for the first time in five sessions as foreigners went bargain-hunting.

The Korean won closed at 1,097.70 won against the U.S. dollar, up 14.6 won from the previous session’s close, to hit a seven-month low since Nov. 20, 2017 when it logged 1,100.60 won per dollar.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher.

The yield on three-year bonds shed 4.1 basis points to 2.19 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds lost 3.9 basis points to 2.67 percent.


BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]


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