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Seoul stocks inch down ahead of Fed decision

Oct 30,2019
Stocks snapped a three-day rally to end slightly lower Tuesday as investors remained cautious ahead of a U.S. rate decision despite hopes for eased global trade tension, analysts said. The won firmed against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi lost 0.91 point, or 0.04 percent, to close at 2,092.69. Trading volume was moderate at 350.6 million shares worth 3.91 trillion won ($3.36 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 419 to 391.

The index started higher after a Wall Street rally on better-than-expected earnings by major companies, but it slipped in afternoon trading due to sell-offs by foreign investors ahead of the Federal Reserve’s rate decision later this week.

“The local stock market remained tepid with a lack of upward momentum following a recent rally despite rising hope for progress in talks with the United States and China,” Choi Yu-joon, an analyst at Shinhan Investment, said.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that he expected to sign a significant part of the trade deal with China but did not elaborate on the schedule.

Foreigners sold a net 99.6 billion won worth of local stocks, while institutions scooped up a net 74 billion won to support the index. Retail investors offloaded a net 18 billion won.

Tech shares were mixed. Samsung Electronics edged down 0.39 percent to 51,100 won, while chipmaker SK Hynix inched up 0.12 percent to 83,000 won. Naver shed 2.55 percent to 153,000 won.

Auto shares were up. Leading automaker Hyundai Motor gained 0.82 percent to 122,500 won, and its sister company Kia Motors advanced 3.89 percent to 42,700 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis inched up 0.21 percent to 237,500 won.

Pharmaceutical firms traded in positive terrain, with Celltrion gaining 2.24 percent to reach 205,500 won. Samsung BioLogics inched down 0.63 percent to 400,500 won.

Telecom shares ended lower. SK Telecom gained 0.84 percent to 235,000 won and KT edged down 0.37 percent at 26,750 won. Their smaller rival LG U+ remained flat at 13,800.

Posco gained 0.24 percent to 212,000 won and Korean Air Lines dropped 1.20 percent to 24,800 won.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 5.88 points, or 0.90 percent, to close at 658.30

The local currency closed at 1,163.0 won against dollar, down 7.7 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices were mixed. The yield on three-year bonds fell 2.2 basis points to 1.501 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds gained 5.0 basis points to 1.84 percent.

BY KIM BYUNG-WOOK, YONHAP [kim.byungwook@joongang.co.kr]


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