U.S.-China tension pushes Seoul stocks down

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U.S.-China tension pushes Seoul stocks down

Stocks closed lower on Monday amid renewed uncertainties over a trade deal between the United States and China following comments by U.S. President Donald Trump. The Korean won sharply fell against the dollar.

The benchmark Kospi dropped 13.14 points, or 0.61 percent, to 2,124.09. Trading volume was moderate at 610 million shares worth 5.27 trillion won ($4.52 billion), with losers outnumbering winners 475 to 345.


On Friday, Trump said that the United States has not agreed to roll back some of the tariffs it has imposed on Chinese goods, adding to worries about the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

“Recent uncertainties surrounding the U.S.-China trade talks apparently affected the local stock market,” said Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities. “Noticeably, U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments affected it the most.”

Foreign and institutional investors offloaded a net 173.6 billion won and 1.4 billion won, respectively, while individuals scooped up a net 144.3 billion won.

Most large-cap shares were bearish.

Samsung Electronics lost 0.96 percent to close at 51,600 won, continuing a three-day losing streak. Chipmaker SK Hynix finished 1.22 percent lower at 81,300 won.

Auto shares traded in negative terrain. Leading Hyundai Motor lost 0.4 percent to reach 123,500 won, but Kia Motors edged down 0.35 percent to 42,950 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis inched up 0.21 percent to 241,500 won.

Korea Electric Power, the state-run utility firm, advanced 1.11 percent to 27,300 won.

Posco shed 0.22 percent to 223,500 won and Korean Air Lines dropped 2.04 percent to 26,400 won.

Pharmaceutical firms were mixed, with Celltrion losing 1.06 percent to reach 186,000 won. In contrast, shares of a pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics, gained 2.44 percent to end at 339,500 won.

Telecom shares were mixed. SK Telecom gained 0.21 percent to 242,500 won and KT edged down 0.18 percent at 27,150 won. Their smaller rival LG U+ rose 2.16 percent at 14,200.

The secondary Kosdaq dropped 3.23 points, or 0.49 percent, to close at 661.37 won.

The won closed at 1,166.6 won against the dollar, up 9 won from Friday’s close.

Bond prices were down. The yield on three-year bonds rose 0.6 basis points to 1.518 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds gained 0.7 basis points to 1.83 percent.

BY KIM BYUNG-WOOK, YONHAP [kim.byungwook@joongang.co.kr]
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