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Kospi remains flat despite foreigner selling

Dec 12,2018
Korean shares barely moved on Tuesday as foreign investors continued to sell amid concerns over an economic slowdown. The Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi fluctuated between positive and negative territory throughout the session, shedding 0.82 points, or 0.04 percent, to close the day at 2.052.97. Trading volume was light at 267.01 million shares worth 4.91 trillion won ($4.35 billion).

“A range of data has pointed to a global economic slowdown,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, citing the latest composite leading indicator data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Foreign investors were net sellers for the second consecutive session, dumping a net 176.4 billion won worth of local shares. Retail investors bought a net 61.9 billion won and institutional investors scooped up a net 104.8 billion won worth of stocks.

Large-cap shares ended mixed.

Samsung Electronics inched up 0.12 percent to 40,250 won, while major chipmaker SK Hynix fell 0.92 percent to 64,900 won.

Industry leader LG Chem rose 1.30 percent to 349,500 won, while Lotte Chemical edged down 0.19 percent to 265,500 won.

Top steelmaker Posco retreated 0.60 percent to 246,500 won.

Major bio shares also had mixed results on regulatory decisions.

Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion plummeted 10.02 percent to 220,000 won on reports that the financial watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Service, launched a probe into its affiliate, Celltrion Healthcare, on suspicions that it breached accounting rules. Celltrion Healthcare, which is listed on the junior Kosdaq, fell 12.04 percent to 71,600 won.

Meanwhile, Samsung BioLogics spiked 17.79 percent to 394,000 won as it escaped delisting after an accounting fraud scandal and resumed trading on Tuesday.

The secondary Kosdaq fell, retreating 9.38 points, or 1.40 percent, to 661.01. The tech and bio-heavy index was dragged down by foreign selling due to regulatory issues surrounding bio shares. Foreigners have been net sellers for the second consecutive session, while institutions turned net buyers after five sessions of selling in the junior bourse.

The Korean won closed at 1,130.10 won against the greenback, up 3.60 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices ended mixed. The return on three-year bonds fell 1.1 basis points to 1.79 percent, while the yield on 10-year bonds rose 0.2 basis points to 1.98 percent.


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


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