Stocks fall, foreigners sell for 15th day straight

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Stocks fall, foreigners sell for 15th day straight

Stocks closed higher Wednesday on hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal that may help turn the tide for Korea’s sluggish exports. The local currency lost ground slightly against the dollar.

After a choppy session, the benchmark Kospi added 6.50 points, or 0.31 percent, to close at 2,127.85. Trading volume was moderate at about 361 million shares, worth 4.2 trillion won ($3.57 billion), with losers outnumbering winners 442 to 376.


But foreign investors continued to offload local shares, extending their longest selling streak in over three years to a 15th consecutive session.

On Tuesday, they dumped a net 858 billion won, the largest amount since June 13, 2013.

Foreigners again sold a net 142.6 billion won on Wednesday, while institutions scooped up a net 94 billion won. Individuals purchased a net 17.7 billion won.

Investor sentiment was lifted late last week when U.S. President Donald Trump said a U.S.-China trade deal is “potentially very close.”

He again helped boost investor sentiment Tuesday.

“President Donald Trump said on Nov. 26 that the United States and China are nearing the end of their initial trade negotiations and that they are very close to reaching a deal,” said Choi You-june, an analyst at Shinhan Financial Investment.

On Wall Street, major stock indices have been hitting new highs, with the Dow Jones industrial average adding 55.21 points, or 0.20 percent, to set a record high of 28,121.68 Tuesday.

Korea’s exports have been on a steady decline since December, partly due to the prolonged trade dispute between Washington and Beijing - the world’s largest economies and the biggest importers of Korean products.

In Seoul, large caps were mixed.

Samsung Electronics gained 0.77 percent to reach 52,200 won, with chipmaker SK Hynix rising 0.49 percent to 82,700 won. Naver lost 0.29 percent to close at 172,500 won.

While automaker Hyundai Motor advanced 0.82 percent to 123,500 won, Kia Motors gained 0.34 percent to 44,100 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis climbed 2.23 percent to 252,000 won.

The secondary Kosdaq shed 4.20 points, or 0.64 percent, to close at 647.39.

The won closed at 1,177.20 won per dollar, up 0.50 won from the previous session’s close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, traded in positive territory. The yield on three-year bonds lost 2.0 basis points to 1.457 percent, and the yield on 10-year bonds dropped 1.2 basis points to 1.74 percent.

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