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Market flat even as foreigners sell for 8th day

May 21,2019
Local stocks finished almost unchanged Monday, but foreign investors remained net sellers for the eighth consecutive session, marking the longest selling spree since last November. The won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi fell 0.09 points, or 0.00 percent, to close at 2,055.71. Trading volume was moderate at 622 million shares worth some 4.6 trillion won ($3.85 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 621 to 240.

The stock market opened higher, supported by robust gains in technology stocks. Yet the index turned negative in the afternoon as market sentiment remained fragile over the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China.

“Sentiment is not good due to the sell-off by foreign investors amid concern about the U.S.-China trade feud,” Lee Young-gon, a researcher at Hana Financial Investment, said.

Market sentiment continued to turn negative as the Chinese currency weakened against the dollar, Lee said. Foreign investors sold a net 25.3 billion won worth of local stocks, extending their selling spree to an eighth consecutive session.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics rose 1.94 percent to end at 42,000 won, while SK Hynix, a global chipmaker, fell 0.98 percent to 70,900 won. LG Electronics also moved down 0.56 percent to 70,500 won.

Bio shares also went south. Celltrion plummeted 3.84 percent to 188,000 won, and Samsung BioLogics sank 3.29 percent to 293,500 won.

Naver, the operator of the country’s top Internet portal, shed 2.07 percent to 118,500 won. Kakao, however, rose 1.61 percent to 126,500 won.

Automakers traded in positive terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor up 2.79 percent to 129,000 won, and its smaller affiliate, Kia Motors, gaining 1.55 percent to 42,650 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis rose 2.36 percent to 217,000 won.

Leading steelmaker Posco inched up 0.21 percent to 235,000 won. Top mobile carrier SK Telecom gained 1.17 percent to 260,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq shed 12.05 points, or 1.69 percent, to close at 702.08. The index ended lower as institutions and foreigners net offloaded local stocks after seeing the Nasdaq index close 1 percent lower overnight.

The won closed at 1,194.20 won against the dollar, down 1.5 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds gained 1.1 basis points to 1.681 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds rose 2.5 basis points to 1.847 percent.


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


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