Seoul stocks down on foreign selling
[THE INVESTOR] Korea’s main bourse inched down on April 17 as foreign investors dumped local shares amid a lack of fresh momentum in the market. The Korean won strengthened against the US dollar.
The benchmark KOSPI fell 3.27 points, or 0.15 percent, to close at 2,453.77. Trade volume was moderate at 389.18 million shares worth 6.23 trillion won (US$5.84 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 436 to 369.
Foreign investors sold a net 274.67 billion won worth of local stocks, effectively offsetting the buying by retailers and institutions that bought a net 216.27 billion won and 52.25 billion won worth of shares, respectively.
Large-cap stocks drifted lower across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 0.72 percent to 2,499,000 won, and SK hynix decreased 1.43 percent to 82,800 won.
Bio shares tumbled, dragging down the index. Celltrion, a major pharmaceutical firm, shed 1.86 percent to 290,000 won, and Samsung Biologics, Samsung‘s health care unit, tumbled 2.82 percent to 551,000 won.
Steelmakers and chemicals, however, traded bullish as investors picked up bargains following losses in the previous session. POSCO grew 2.46 percent to 333,000 won, and LG Chem surged 0.96 percent to 368,500 won.
Hyundai Motor rallied 2.94 percent to 297,500 won on news that Elliott Advisors, a unit of US activist hedge fund Elliott Management, supported the top automaker’s reorganization plans as a way to improve corporate governance and boost shareholders’ interests.
Elliott holds around US$1 billion worth of stocks in three affiliates -- Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Mobis and Kia Motors.
Hyundai Mobis also rose 1.22 percent to 248,500 won, and Kia Motors added 0.32 percent to 31,450 won.
The local currency closed at 1,067 won against the US dollar, up 7 won from the previous session’s close.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)