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(LEAD) Korean stocks down 0.1 pct on profit-taking

All News 16:02 April 08, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks shed 0.1 percent on Friday as institutional investors opted to lock in recent gains following overnight falls in Wall Street, analysts said. The local currency fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 1.84 points to close at 1,972.05. Trade volume was moderate at 395 million shares worth 4.33 trillion won (US$3.75 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 406 to 390.

The market opened lower tracking the overnight slide in Wall Street, triggered by a fall in global oil prices and renewed concerns over the global economy.

On Thursday, top market cap Samsung Electronics reported estimated market forecast-beating earnings for the first quarter, boosting optimism that first-quarter corporate earnings would be better than expected.

But investors still seem to be taking a cautious stance on the local stock market.

"Global economic conditions are favorable and Samsung Electronics reported a better-than-expected bottom line," said Kim Se-chan, an analyst at Daishin Securities. "But investors are not willing to scoop up stocks."

Institutional investors offloaded a net 277 billion won, while foreign investors bought a net 162 billion won worth of local stocks.

Tech firms and automakers led the overall market decline, while cosmetics remained in positive terrain.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics shed 1.81 percent to end at 1,246,000 won after reporting a better-than-forecast first quarter earnings estimate the previous day.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.34 percent to 146,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors remained unchanged at 45,400 won.

State-run Korea Electric Power lost 0.51 percent to end at 587,000 won, and top steelmaker POSCO closed flat at 232,500 won.

In contrast, chipmaker SK hynix gained 3.35 percent to end at 27,800 won.

No. 1 cosmetics maker AmorePacific rose 2.67 percent to end at 404,000 won, and Samsung C&T, the holding firm of Samsung Group, advanced 1.09 percent to end at 138,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,153.80 won against the U.S. greenback, down 2.4 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yields on three-year Treasury notes fell 0.5 basis point to 1.463 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond remained unchanged at 1.564 percent.


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