Kospi drops slightly ahead of US-North talks

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Kospi drops slightly ahead of US-North talks


Korean stocks closed lower Tuesday as investors were mixed over the outcome of the upcoming historical second summit between the United States and North Korea, analysts said. The Korean won appreciated against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi moved down 5.96 points, or 0.27 percent, to 2,226.60. Trading volume was relatively light at 327 million shares worth 4.92 trillion won ($4.39 billion).

Analysts said Seoul shares closed nearly flat as investors continued to wait for the outcome of the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un slated for Wednesday and Thursday.

“[Investors] are both awaiting and concerned about the outcome of the summit between North Korea and the United States. The market is anticipated to focus on separate shares for the time being,” said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities.

Individuals sold a net 25-billion-won worth of stock and institutions sold a net 17.6-billion-won worth of shares. Foreign investors bought a net 52.4 billion won of stock.

Tech shares closed bearish, with market behemoth Samsung Electronics falling 1.27 percent to 46,750 won and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix decreasing 0.27 percent to 75,200 won. LG Electronics fell 1.12 percent to 70,500 won.

Financial firms were also losers. Shinhan Financial moved down 1.71 percent to 43,000 won and KB Financial lost 1.53 percent to 45,200 won. Samsung Life Insurance closed unchanged from the previous session.

Steelmakers closed higher, with Posco adding 0.37 percent to 273,500 won and Korea Zinc gaining 1.52 percent to 467,000 won. Hyundai Steel rose 0.79 percent to 51,300 won.

Naver closed 4.37 percent higher at 131,500 won. Kakao, the operator of Korea’s most popular mobile messenger KakaoTalk, gained 5.29 percent to 103,500 won.

Retailers closed slightly higher, with Lotte Shopping rising 0.52 percent to 191,500 won and EMart advancing 0.56 percent to 179,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 3.31 points, or 0.44 percent, to end the session at 747.09.

The tech heavy index was dragged down by foreign and institutional selling due to wariness over the second U.S.-North summit despite a rise in Nasdaq Composite Index overnight.

The Korean won finished at 1,118.60 won against the dollar, down 2.40 won from the previous day’s close.

Bond prices ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds fell 0.3 basis points to 1.82 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds fell 0.9 basis points to 2.00 percent.

BY KIM HE-YU, YONHAP [kim.heyu@joongang.co.kr]
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