Kospi does well despite U.S.-China tensions

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Kospi does well despite U.S.-China tensions


Korea’s main bourse ended in positive territory on Monday after trimming earlier gains as foreigners offloaded local stocks amid growing worries over trade friction between the United States and China. The Korean won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi edged up 0.83 points, or 0.04 percent, to close at 2,247.88. Trading volume was light at 4.31 trillion won ($3.8 billion).

Institutional investors bought a net 8.5 billion won worth of stocks. Foreigners sold a net 55.4 billion won while individuals offloaded a net 9.8 billion won, keeping the Kospi from rising further.

“Investors remain wary over the trade disputes between the U.S. and China as experts are not optimistic about the trade negotiations,” said Daishin Securities analyst Park Choon-young. “Another worry is uncertainties in the financial market from the challenges facing the Turkish currency.”

The main Kospi was buoyed by gains in U.S. stocks. The Nasdaq Composite inched up 0.13 percent while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.43 percent in last Friday’s session.

Auto and steel stocks led gains, with top carmaker Hyundai Motor advancing 0.79 percent to 127,500 won and leading steelmaker Posco climbing 2.56 percent to 321,000 won. No. 1 auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis was up 1.29 percent to 235,000 won.

Hyundai Heavy Industries spiked 9.22 percent to 112,500 won on news that it would close down its offshore oil rig manufacturing business. Investors believe that the move will help the company be more profitable, as the business has been faltering from lack of orders due to competition from Singapore and China.

Electronics shares ended mixed. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.57 percent to 43,850 won while LG Electronics inched down 0.28 percent to 72,200 won. SK Hynix climbed 0.27 percent to 74,700 won.

Cosmetics giant Amorepacific shed 2.11 percent to 255,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 2.52 points, or 0.33 percent, to 769.78. The tech-heavy Kosdaq closed slightly lower from mass selling of IT shares by institutions and foreigners.

Pharmaceuticals also lost in the secondary index. Celltrion Healthcare fell 0.55 percent to 89,600 won.

The Korean won closed at 1,123.10 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.80 won from the previous trading session.

Bond prices ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.2 basis points to 1.99 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds declined 2.4 basis points to 2.41 percent.

BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]
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