Market flat as investors await earnings reports

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Market flat as investors await earnings reports

Local stocks ended slightly higher Tuesday as investors took to the sidelines ahead of quarterly earnings releases, analysts said. The won fell against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi rose 3.86 points, or 0.17 percent, to close at 2,220.51. Trading volume was moderate at 471 million shares worth 4.8 trillion won ($4.2 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 422 to 408.


“The main index moved in a tight range in today’s session as investors await large-cap companies reporting their first-quarter earnings results from this week. They will take a cue from them,” said Yoo Myoung-gan, an analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo.

Institutional investors offloaded 73.6 billion won, while individuals and foreigners scooped up 18.1 billion won and 43.3 billion won, respectively.

Airline stocks were down as investors dumped the shares out of concerns over rising oil prices and the won’s weakness against the dollar.

National flag carrier Korean Air fell 1.4 percent to 34,650 won, and No. 2 carrier Asiana Airlines plunged 5.9 percent to 7,720 won. No. 1 low-cost carrier Jeju Air declined 2 percent to 39,100 won.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump decided not to extend sanctions waivers for Iranian oil to Korea and other countries. Korea, which heavily relies on Iranian condensate to produce petrochemical products, had been in talks with the United States to gain an extension to the waiver, which expires May 2.

Large-cap stocks were mixed across the board, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics falling 0.3 percent to 45,200 won and top carmaker Hyundai Motor rising 1.5 percent to 136,000 won.

Leading steelmaker Posco shed 0.9 percent to 261,000 won, and No. 1 refiner SK Innovation gained 1.8 percent to 193,500 won.

Auto shares ended on positive terrain. Hyundai Motor gained 1.49 percent to 136,000 won, and its auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis rose 2.18 percent to 234,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq fell 0.59 points, or 0.08 percent, to close at 761.42. The index ended lower after institutional investors and foreigners offloaded local stocks despite seeing Nasdaq shares finish higher.

The won traded at 1,141.80 won against the dollar, up 0.30 won from the previous day’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year bonds lost 0.1 basis points to 1.768 percent, and the return on 10-year bonds dropped 0.6 basis points to 1.923 percent.

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