Local stocks drop due to foreign profit-taking
The benchmark Kospi surrendered 12.36 points, or 0.52 percent, to close at 2,343.07. Trading volume was moderate at 6.9 trillion won ($6.2 billion).
Foreigners offloaded a net 211.5 billion won worth of shares on the main exchange. Individuals bought a net 124.8 billion won, while institutional investors purchased a net 58.6 billion won.
The main index had opened slightly lower despite overnight gains on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.21 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.28 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.65 percent.
“The Kospi closed lower as foreigners offloaded large-cap shares, such as Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and Celltrion,” said Lee Kyoung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.
Most large-cap shares ended in negative terrain, with tech and steel stocks pulling down the Kospi. Top cap Samsung Electronics lost 2.21 percent to end at 46,450 won, snapping a five-day winning streak. Chipmaker SK Hynix was down 2.53 percent to 73,100 won.
Shares of biopharmaceutical companies ended in negative terrain. Samsung BioLogics, Samsung’s biopharmaceutical affiliate, lost 2.2 percent to end at 534,000 won and Celltrion fell 1.33 percent at 297,000 won.
Top steelmaker Posco surrendered 3.6 percent to 294,500 won and Korea Zinc inched down 0.8 percent to 436,000 won. Financial and insurance stocks rose. KB Financial Group climbed 0.93 percent to 54,200 won and Shinhan Financial Group inched up 0.9 percent to 45,000 won. Samsung Life Insurance added 1.35 percent to 97,300 won.
The secondary Kosdaq also fell 10.74 points, or 1.29 percent, to 822.27. The tech and bio-heavy index was dragged down by institutional and foreign selling of pharmaceutical and IT shares.
Major pharmaceutical shares closed lower. Top-cap Celltrion Healthcare fell 1.91 percent to 92,200 won, while competitor SillaJen lost 0.58 percent to 102,400 won. Medytox bucked the trend, rising 0.96 percent to 619,000 won. The Korean won closed at 1,109.3 won against the U.S. dollar, down 3.2 won from the previous trading session.
Bond prices closed higher. The yield on three-year bonds dropped 0.1 basis points to 2.01 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds decreased 1.8 basis points to 2.36 percent.
BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]