Main bourse falls for the fifth straight session
The benchmark Kospi retreated by 36.13 points, or 1.52 percent, to close at 2,340.11. Trade volume was modest at 7.9 trillion won ($7.1 billion).
Foreigners offloaded a net 215.9 billion won worth of local stocks while individuals snatched up a net 34.2 billion won. Individuals bought a net 139.7 billion won.
Analysts said the Kospi slipped as investors were jittery over uncertainties surrounding the standoff between the United States and China. Trump ordered his government to prepare for punitive duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods on Monday.
“Persistent worries about a trade war between the United States and China have affected the local stock market in a negative way,” said Kim Dae-jun, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities. Most large caps closed lower on the Kospi, with bio shares pushing down the main index.
Top cap Samsung Electronics ended at 47,000 won, up 0.86 percent from the previous session’s close to snap a four-day losing streak. Global chipmaker SK Hynix gained 0.12 percent to 84,100 won.
Shares of biopharmaceutical companies fell by 5.8 percent across sector. Samsung BioLogics, Samsung’s biopharmaceutical affiliate, lost 6.5 percent to end at 381,000 won, while Celltrion dropped by 5.74 percent to close at 287,500 won.
Construction and steel shares also closed lower. Steelmaker Posco shed 4.49 percent to 340,000 won, and Hyundai Heavy Industries dropped 4.52 percent to 105,500 won.
The secondary Kosdaq fell 24.84 points, or 2.96 percent, to 815.39. The tech-heavy index was dragged down by the 0.8 percent drop of the U.S. Nasdaq Biotech index and large-scale institutional selling of pharmaceutical shares.
Institutions sold a net 25.0 billion won while individuals sold a net 27.6 billion won. Foreigners bought a net 44.4 billion won. Retail shares dropped 5.9 percent. Construction shares fell 4.0 percent while pharmaceuticals dropped 3.8 percent. The local currency closed at 1,109.1 won against the U.S. dollar, up 4.3 won from the previous session’s close.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds shed 1.4 basis points to 2.16 percent, and the return on 10-year government bonds lost 3.0 basis points to 2.62 percent.
BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [email@example.com]