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Kospi inches down as investors sell tech shares

July 31,2018
Korean stocks closed slightly lower on Monday as investors went profit-seeking for technology shares. The Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi surrendered 1.48 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 2,293.51. Trade volume was very light at 4.1 trillion won ($3.65 billion).

Analysts said Seoul shares closed nearly unchanged as investors took a breather while offloading from technology firms following the recent rebounds in their share prices.

The huge drop of key U.S. technology stocks like Facebook last week had pushed major Asian shares down as well.

“The dip [in today’s session] came as investors sought profit for major information technology shares,” said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

“The appreciation of the U.S. dollar slowed and uncertainties also eased as SK Hynix announced its second-quarter performance,” Lee added.

Foreigners bought a net 134.7 billion won worth of local stocks, while institutions offloaded a net 171 billion won. Retail investors bought a net 3.3 billion won.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics slid 0.85 percent to close at 46,500 won.

SK Hynix also lost 0.23 percent to 85,900 won. LG Electronics moved down 1.05 percent to 75,200 won.

Korea’s top portal operator Naver decreased 2.8 percent to 730,000 won following its weak earnings report.

Pharmaceutical shares closed mixed, with Celltrion moving up 0.58 percent to 258,000 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical decreased 2.47 percent to 414,500 won. Samsung BioLogics shed 0.93 percent to 371,000 won.

Top mobile carrier SK Telecom advanced 1.24 percent to 245,000 won, and KT lost 0.36 percent to 28,050 won. LG U+ added 0.65 percent to 15,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 4.18 points, or 0.54 percent, to 769.80, dragged down by the 2.1 percent fall in the U.S. Nasdaq biotech index. The tech and bio-heavy index fell for the first time in three days from institutional and foreign selling of pharmaceutical shares.

Major bio firm Medytox dropped 0.69 percent to 720,000 won while rival Viromed declined 3.61 percent to 192,300 won.

The Korean won closed at 1,120.20 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.1 won from Friday’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 1.6 basis points to 2.13 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds gained 0.2 basis points to 2.57 percent.


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


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