Kospi inches down as foreigners dump shares

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Kospi inches down as foreigners dump shares


Korean stocks ended lower on Wednesday as foreign investors dumped large-cap shares amid a drop in oil prices. The Korean won depreciated against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Kospi declined 3.18 points or 0.15 percent to close at 2,068.05.

Trading volume was moderate at 332.68 million shares worth 5.42 trillion won ($4.78 billion).

“The Kospi dropped as the fall of Apple negatively affected Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix,” said Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Offshore investors continued to sell shares in the main index for the second consecutive session, unloading a net 132.5 billion won worth of shares. Retail investors picked up a net 70.5 billion won, and institutional investors bought a net 18.6 billion won worth of shares.

U.S. tech share woes continued to weigh on large-cap tech shares as market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.90 percent to 44,100 won, and No.2 chipmaker SK Hynix dropped 2.09% to 70,400 won.

Leading steelmaker Posco ended 3.11 percent down to 249,000 won.

Refiners were also losers in the session, with SK Innovation falling 3.25 percent to 193,500 won, and S-Oil dropping 5.31 percent to 107,000 won.

Pharmaceutical shares ended up, with Celltrion rising 3.74 percent to 208,000 won, and Samsung biopharmaceutical unit Samsung BioLogics soaring 6.70 percent to 334,500 won.

Carmakers ended mixed as Hyundai Motor Group faced increasing pressure from U.S. hedge fund Elliott. Hyundai Motor fell 0.98 percent to 101,500 won, while its sister company Kia Motors added 2.30 percent to 28,950 won.

The country’s top portal operator Naver also declined, retreating 0.43 percent to 115,500 won, while rival tech company Kakao rose 1.48 percent to 103,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq rose 0.71 points, or 0.11 percent, to end the session at 671.56. The tech and bio-heavy index ended higher, helped by a 1.35 percent rise in the U.S. Philadelphia Semiconductor Index. Institutional investors have been net sellers in the junior index for 11 consecutive sessions.

The Korean won closed at 1,134.30 won against the greenback up 1.00 won from the previous trading session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 1.8 basis points to 1.92 percent. The return on 10-year bonds declined 1.6 basis points to 2.20 percent.

BY CHAE YUN-HWAN, YONHAP [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]
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