S. Korean stocks decline on foreign selling
[THE INVESTOR] South Korean stocks finished lower on Jan. 11 as foreigners expanded their selling after Wall Street took a breather from a recent rally. The Korean won fell slightly against the greenback.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dropped 11.17 points, or 0.45 percent, to close at 2,488.58. Trade volume was moderate at 419.7 million shares worth 7.52 trillion won (US$7 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 424 to 380.
Foreigners remained net sellers for the second consecutive day as major US indices retreated Wednesday on concerns that China would cut back on purchasing U.S. government bond purchases.
“Foreigners are selling local stocks to lock in profits from recent gains, taking to the sidelines before quarterly earnings reports in the coming week,” said Kim Dae-jun, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities.
Foreigners dumped a net 311.14 billion won worth of stocks, while institutions and retail investors bought a net 53.64 billion won and 209.17 billion won, respectively.
Tech shares were depressed. Top market cap Samsung Electronics decreased 1.23 percent to 2,412,000 won, extending a four-day losing streak. SK hynix, a major chipmaker, slipped 0.41 percent to 72,600 won.
Leading automaker Hyundai Motor edged down 0.64 percent to 154,500 won, and No. 1 chemical firm LG Chem gained 1.2 percent to 421,500 won.
Steelmaker POSCO declined 1.61 percent to 366,500 won, and Naver, the nation‘s biggest portal operator, shed 1.1 percent to 917,000 won.
The tech-heavy KOSDAQ added 16.47 points, or 1.97 percent, to 851.38 as the government said it will give tax breaks to individuals that invest in mutual funds for startups and soften some listing rules for the secondary market.
The local currency closed at 1,072.0 won against the US dollar, down 0.1 won from the previous session’s close.
By Alex Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)