Market is flat as punters mull Trump’s moves

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Market is flat as punters mull Trump’s moves

Stocks closed nearly flat on Monday, with institutional buying more than offsetting a selling streak by foreigners. The won gained some ground against the dollar.

The Kospi added 1.04 points, or 0.05 percent, to close at 2,021.73. Trading volume was slim at 317 million shares worth 3.3 trillion won ($2.76 billion). Losers far outnumbered gainers 532 to 288.


The index opened significantly higher, tracking gains on Wall Street last week on hopes of an additional U.S. rate cut.

After choppy trading, local shares pared earlier gains as foreigners extended their selling streak to a sixth consecutive session.

Foreign investors offloaded a net 21.6 billion won, while individuals dumped a net 42.4 billion won. Institutions scooped up a net 42.8 billion won.

Local analysts cited hopes for a “good enough deal” at upcoming U.S.-China trade negotiations for the tepid but still positive investor sentiment here.

“[U.S.] President [Donald] Trump is facing a setback in his efforts for reelection due to the Ukraine scandal. Trump needs a card to reverse the mood, and it is highly likely that the high-level trade talks between the United States and China that are set to be held this week may be one such card,” Gwak Hyun-soo, an analyst at Shinhan Financial Investment, said.

The trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies has been blamed for a slump in trade, which in turn has led to 10 consecutive months of drops in local exports.

The United States and China are also the world’s largest importers of Korean products.

Most large caps closed in positive terrain, while tech and chemicals suffered a setback.

Samsung Electronics lost 0.52 percent to 47,750 won, while mobile service provider SK Telecom slipped 0.64 percent to 233,000 won.

LG Chem plunged 2.36 percent to 289,000 won.

Hyundai Motor surged 1.19 percent to 128,000 won, with pharmaceutical company Celltrion spiking 3.18 percent to 178,500 won.

The secondary Kosdaq gained 5.37 points, or 0.86 percent, to close at 627.21.

The won closed at 1,196.60 against the dollar, down 0.20 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, were mixed.

The yield on three-year bonds gained 2.1 basis points to 1.231 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds dropped 0.6 basis points to 1.52 percent.

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