Kospi closes weaker as exports drop 8.2%
The benchmark Kospi surrendered 4.19 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 2,338.88. Trading volume was light at 5.4 trillion won ($4.8 billion).
Market watchers said Seoul shares closed lower amid economic uncertainty in Italy and an 8.2 percent drop in September exports compared to last year, although the hope over the third-quarter performances of listed firms limited the decline. On Thursday, Italy’s coalition government agreed to set the 2019 budget deficit at 2.4 percent of the GDP, much higher than the 1.6 percent lobbied by the country’s finance minister.
“The Kospi closed weaker despite the bullish U.S. market and reports of a trade agreement between the United States and Canada,” said Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daishin Securities.
Foreign investors sold a net 48.6 billion won worth of shares on the main exchange, while individual investors scooped up a net 128 billion won. Institutions offloaded a net 94 billion won.
Pharmaceutical firms closed mostly bearish, with Celltrion losing 1.68 percent to close at 292,000 won and Samsung BioLogics rising 0.75 percent to 538,000 won. Hanmi Pharmaceutical plunged 6.1 percent to 469,500 won.
Carmakers were also among decliners, with Hyundai Motor losing 0.39 percent to end at 129,000 won and Kia Motors falling 2.14 percent to 34,350 won. Parts maker Hyundai Mobis shed 3.07 percent, closing at 221,000 won.
Chemical shares had a bullish day, with LG Chem advancing 0.82 percent to 368,500 won and LG Household & Health Care rising 3.13 percent to 1,316,000 won. Amorepacific added 3.26 percent to close at 269,500 won.
Market behemoth Samsung Electronics fell 0.22 percent to 46,350 won, while chipmaker SK Hynix added 0.82 percent to close at 73,700 won. LG Electronics moved up 0.14 percent to 71,100 won.
The secondary Kosdaq dropped 5.74 points, or 0.70 percent, to 816.53. The secondary index fell from institutional and foreign selling of pharmaceutical shares despite the 0.15 percent incline of the U.S. Nasdaq biotech index.
The local currency closed at 1,111.80 won against the U.S. dollar, up 2.50 from the last trading session.
Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended lower. The yield on three-year bonds added 1.7 basis points to 2.02 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds was up 2.7 basis points to 2.38 percent.
BY KIM EUN-JIN, YONHAP [email@example.com]