Market tumbles on China-U.S. trade talk jitters

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Market tumbles on China-U.S. trade talk jitters

Stocks closed sharply lower Thursday on concerns of U.S.-China trade negotiations falling apart. The won continued to weaken against the dollar but recovered some ground after the White House dismissed reports of an apparent collapse of its trade talks with Beijing.

The benchmark Kospi lost 18.1 points, or 0.88 percent, to close at 2,028.15. Trading volume was moderate at 438.5 million shares, worth some 5.4 trillion won ($4.5 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 527 to 257.


Local shares extended losses after opening sharply lower on reports of little progress in working-level trade negotiations between the United States and China in Washington this week.

“News about the U.S.-China trade negotiations are leading the stock market,” said No Dong-kil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

Reports suggested that high-level U.S.-China trade talks, set to be held in the U.S. capital Thursday and Friday, may also fail, adding the Chinese delegation might also curtail its itinerary to head home Thursday.

“Those reports are apparently affecting investor sentiments regardless of their authenticity,” No said.

In Seoul, foreign investors extended their selling streak to an eighth consecutive session, dumping a net 165.7 billion won worth of local shares.

Individuals scooped up a net 229.5 billion won, while institutions offloaded a net 96 billion won.

Most large caps closed in negative terrain, with technology and auto spearheading the market slump.

Samsung Electronics lost 0.72 percent to 48,550 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix tumbled 2.35 percent to 79,000 won.

Automaker Hyundai Motor plunged 2.32 percent to 126,500 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors tumbling 3.31 percent to 42,300 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis inched up 0.82 percent to 245,500 won.

Pharmaceutical firms were mixed, with Celltrion gaining 0.28 percent to reach 181,000 won.

Financial stocks ended in negative terrain. Shinhan Financial, a major banking group, dropped 1.21 percent at 40,900 won.

The won closed at 1,196.20 won against dollar, up 3.10 won from the previous session’s close.

The secondary Kosdaq dropped 0.68 points, or 0.11 percent, to close at 634.73.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, were mixed. The yield on three-year bonds added 0.9 basis points to 1.276 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds gained 5.3 basis points to 1.58 percent.

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