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Shares lower as foreigners sell for a 16th day

Nov 29,2019
Stocks closed lower Thursday as the U.S.-China trade negotiations appeared to have hit a last-minute snag, possibly delaying a much-awaited deal that U.S. President Donald Trump earlier said may be “very close.” The local currency lost ground against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi lost 9.25 points, or 0.43 percent, to close at 2,118.60. Trading volume was moderate at 327.7 million shares worth some 4.35 trillion won ($3.69 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 533 to 281.

The index got off to a rough start, despite overnight gains on Wall Street.

Investors here were apparently spooked by a new U.S. law, signed by Trump on Wednesday that calls for U.S. support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, a move that could undermine the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations.

Choi You-june, an analyst at Shinhan Financial Investment, insisted the United States legislation will have only a limited impact.

“The possibility of [Trump] signing the bill into law had already been reflected in the market at the time of legislation by the United States Congress, and the market apparently sees the Hong Kong issue and U.S.-China trade negotiations as separate issues,” Choi said.

The United States Congress passed the Hong Kong bill on Nov. 20, shortly before the New York market began its record-breaking rally late last week.

Foreigners continued to remain net sellers, extending their selling streak to 16 consecutive sessions, the longest since January 2016, when they net sold local shares for 22 consecutive sessions.

Foreign investors dumped a net 129 billion won Thursday, while institutions scooped up a net 84.6 billion won. Individuals purchased a net 28.1 billion won.

Large caps closed mixed.

Samsung Electronics tumbled 1.72 percent to 51,300 won, but SK Hynix advanced 0.12 percent to 82,800 won.

Autos were in positive terrain, with Hyundai Motor gaining 0.40 percent to 124,000 won and Kia Motors rising 1.02 percent to 44,550 won. Hyundai Mobis edged down 0.59 percent to 251,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq dropped 1.11 percent to close at 640.18.

The won closed at 1,179 won per dollar, up 1.80 won.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, were mixed. The yield on three-year bonds lost 2.5 basis points to 1.432 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds gained 2.4 basis points to 1.76 percent.

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


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