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Cautious mood ends a 3-day winning streak

July 16,2019
Stocks finished lower Monday, snapping a three-day winning streak, as investors took to the sidelines amid weak Chinese economic data and uncertainties over a trade row with Japan. The local currency lost ground against the greenback.

The benchmark Kospi lost 4.18 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 2,082.48. Trading volume was moderate, with 455 million shares worth 3.6 trillion won ($3 billion) changing hands. Losers far outnumbered gainers 636 to 185.

The index opened lower, with investors cautious ahead of key economic data from China. The world’s second-largest economy grew at its slowest pace since 1992 in the April to June quarter amid a trade tussle with the United States, according to foreign news reports.

“The local stock market is in a wait-and-see mode,” said Lee Won, an analyst at Bookook Securities. “The fall, however, was limited amid hopes for a rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve.”

Individual investors sold a net 49.5 billion won worth of local stocks, while institutions and foreigners scooped up a net 25.5 billion won and 13.9 billion won, respectively.

Most large-cap shares were mixed.

Top cap Samsung Electronics moved up 0.32 percent to 46,450 won after opening lower, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix gained 2.01 percent to reach 76,200 won. LG Electronics inched down 0.71 percent to 70,300 won.

Automakers were bearish. Industry leader Hyundai Motor was down 1.08 percent at 138,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors lost 0.23 percent, closing at 42,900 won.

Bio shares closed negative, with Samsung BioLogics, a biopharmaceutical affiliate of Samsung Group, losing 1.66 percent to end at 296,500 won. Major bio firm Celltrion was down 2.65 percent at 183,500 won.

Steelmaker Posco gained 0.42 percent to 238,000 won, and Naver rose 0.85 percent to 118,000 won. Kakao jumped 1.14 percent to 133,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 6.38 points, or 0.94 percent, to close at 674.79. The index ended lower as foreign investors and institutions mass offloaded local stocks after seeing Nasdaq’s biotech shares finish 1.3 percent lower last week.

The local currency closed at 1,179.3 won against the dollar, up 0.1 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds gained 1.0 basis point to 1.434 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds rose 1.3 basis points to 1.582 percent.

BY KO JUN-TAE, YONHAP [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]


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