Stocks steady despite destruction of liaison office by North

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Stocks steady despite destruction of liaison office by North

An employee stands in front of a screen with the closing Kospi at the dealing room in Hana Bank located in Jung-district, central Seoul, Wednesday. [YONHAP]

An employee stands in front of a screen with the closing Kospi at the dealing room in Hana Bank located in Jung-district, central Seoul, Wednesday. [YONHAP]

Stocks finished a tad higher Wednesday as investors bet that the escalating tensions between two Koreas would have a limited impact on the financial markets. The won fell against the dollar.
 
After a choppy session, the Kospi rose 3.00 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 2,141.05. Trading volume was high at about 915 million shares worth some 15.2 trillion won ($12.5 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 495 to 356.
 
Foreigners sold a net 113 billion won, and institutions offloaded a net 81.6 billion won. Individuals bought a net 205 billion won.
 
Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, on Wednesday ridiculed Moon's speech on inter-Korean relations, calling it "shameless sophistry." Moon's office struck back, saying that her "rude and senseless" rhetoric would not be tolerated.
 
The exchanges of strongly worded statements came a day after Pyongyang blew up the inter-Korean liaison office building, established in its border town of Kaesong in 2018.
 
"The North Korean issue may cause some disturbances that require caution, but the level of uncertainties seems to be limited," said Bookook Securities analyst Lee Won.
 
Stimulus policy moves by China and the United States are likely to have a stronger influence on the local stock markets, he added.
 
Large caps closed mixed.
 
Samsung Electronics climbed 0.19 percent to 52,200 won, and chipmaker SK hynix gained 1.64 percent to 86,800 won.
 
Naver advanced 3.08 percent to 251,000 won, while automaker Hyundai Motor lost 0.99 percent to 100,500 won.
 
Pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics fell 0.24 percent to 824,000 won, while LG Chem added 0.82 percent to 491,500 won.
 
The local currency closed at 1,213.90 won against the dollar, up 6.70 won from the previous session's close.
 
The Kosdaq rose 0.02 points, or 0.00 percent, to 735.40.
 
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 1.4 basis points to 0.874 percent, and the return on the benchmark ten-year government bond added 2.7 basis points to reach 0.75 percent.
 
BY KIM YEON-AH, YONHAP [kim.yeonah@joongang.co.kr]
 

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