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Pharmaceutical firms drag Seoul stocks down

Nov 13,2018
Korean shares ended lower Monday as the main index was dragged down by difficulties that surrounded large-cap pharmaceutical companies. The Korean won depreciated against the greenback.

The benchmark Kospi fell 5.65 points, or 0.27 percent, to end the session at 2,080.44.

Trading volume was moderate at 291.48 million shares worth 5.45 trillion won ($4.79 billion).

“The loss is apparently affected by earnings shock by Celltrion and controversies surrounding Samsung BioLogics’ accounting issue,” said Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

Offshore investors were net buyers for the third consecutive session, picking up a net 38.7 billion won worth of shares, and institutions scooped in a net 67.6 billion won. Institutional investors turned net buyers after five consecutive sessions of selling. Retail investors were net sellers, unloading a net 115.2 billion won worth of stocks.

Major pharmaceutical shares dropped as Celltrion plunged 11.98 percent to 202,000 won. The company reported on Friday that its third quarter net operating profit dropped 49 percent from the previous year.

Samsung’s biopharmaceutical unit Samsung BioLogics plummeted 22.42 percent to 285,500 won ahead of a decision by the country’s regulator on whether the company had committed accounting fraud.

Carmakers fell as Hyundai Motor declined 2.86 percent to 102,000 won, and its sister company Kia Motors dropped 2.08 percent to 28,250 won.

Leading steelmaker Posco fell 2.82 percent to 258,000 won.

Meanwhile, market bellwether Samsung Electronics rose 2.03 percent to 45,200 won, and No.2 chipmaker SK Hynix advanced 2.19 percent to 74,500 won.

Battery-related shares also rose as LG Chem added 1.83 percent to 333,500 won, and Samsung SDI went up 1.15 percent to 219,000 won.

Secondary Kosdaq also fell, dropping 16.47 points or 2.40 percent, to 670.82. The tech and bio-heavy index was weighed down by a 1.65 percent decline in the U.S. Nasdaq Composite Index on Friday.

Celltrion-affiliated companies in the junior index also fell with Celltrion HealthCare dropping 10.30 percent to 60,100 won.

The Korean won closed at 1,133.90 won against the dollar, up 5.60 won from Friday’s close.

Bond prices ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds was down 1.5 basis points to 1.95 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds fell 2.3 basis points to 2.21 percent.


BY CHAE YUN-HWAN, YONHAP [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]


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