Stocks fall on tech company earnings concerns
The benchmark Kospi dropped 17.52 points, or 0.82 percent, to finish at 2,128.10. Trading volume was relatively light, at 284 million shares worth 4.31 trillion won ($3.79 billion).
It marked the lowest level since 2,127.78 posted on Jan. 23.
Analysts said shares closed lower as foreign and institutional investors dumped local stocks, with investors also expressing concerns over the upcoming earnings of technology companies.
“The deteriorating earnings outlook of chipmakers is also having an adverse impact on the Korean stock market,” Lee Jae-seung, a researcher at Samsung Securities said.
Individuals bought a net 81.5-billion-won worth of stocks and foreign investors sold a net 12.5-billion-won worth of shares. Institutions sold a net 84.2 billion won of stocks.
Samsung Electronics fell 1.10 percent to 44,850 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix lost 1.50 percent to 72,300 won. LG Electronics moved down 2.30 percent to 72,200 won.
LG Display slid 3.73 percent to 19,350 won. LG Chem fell 0.41 percent to 361,000 won.
SK Innovation fell 0.80 percent to 186,500 won, and S-Oil shed 1.09 percent to 90,500 won. Posco fell 0.20 percent to 254,500 won.
Pharmaceutical firms closed mixed, with Celltrion losing 1.37 percent to 180,500 won, while Hanmi Pharmaceutical rose 1.58 percent to 450,500 won.
Samsung BioLogics surrendered 1.39 percent to 320,000 won.
Asiana Airlines, Korea’s No. 2 carrier, rose 2.92 percent to 3,520 won after Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo vowed to resign from management.
Korean Air dropped 5.27 percent to 31,450 won.
SK Telecom lost 0.59 percent to 251,500 won, and KT advanced 0.36 percent to 27,800 won. LG U+ remained unchanged from the previous session at 15,650 won.
The Kosdaq fell 8.73 points, or 1.20 percent, to end the session at 719.72. The tech-heavy index was dragged down by institutional selling of pharmaceutical and IT shares and a 1.4-percent decline in Nasdaq Biotechnology Index overnight.
The won traded at 1,136.80 won against the dollar, up 2.30 won from the previous day’s close.
Bond prices ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds lost 4.3 basis points to 1.68 percent. The yield on 10-year bonds lost 3.5 basis points to 1.81 percent.
BY KIM HE-YU, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]