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(LEAD) Korean stocks edge down on cautious sentiment

All News 15:52 April 11, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, April 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks fell 0.1 percent Monday as investors stuck to a cautious stance amid lingering global uncertainties. The local currency rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 1.68 points to finish at 1,970.37. Trade volume stood at 370 million shares worth 3.8 trillion won (US$3.3 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 434 to 360.

Market watchers attributed the decline to a lack of fresh momentum and mixed market signals.

Many expect the KOSPI to repeat going up and down in a narrow band, affected by oil prices, corporate earnings and key economic data from China and the United States.

China's steady producer price data, released earlier in the day, raised expectations about additional stimulus measures to boost the world's No. 2 economy. China plans to release some other high-profile economic statics, including export figures later this week.

"The (Korean) stock mark will likely remain in a tight range due to a valuation burden," said Kim Byoung-yon, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co.

Traders will also keep close tabs on the results of the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting that will open Thursday in Washington, analysts said.

Institutional investors offloaded a net 127 billion won, while foreign investors also sold a net 15 billion won worth of local stocks. Individuals bought stocks worth a net 80 billion won.

Major tech firms and steelmakers gained ground, while drugmakers and financial firms were largely in negative terrain.

Top market cap Samsung Electronics jumped 1.61 percent to end at 1,266,000 won.

Top steelmaker POSCO was up 2.15 percent at 237,500 won.

Dominant carmaker Hyundai Motor remained flat at 146,500 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors rose 0.99 percent to 45,850 won.

Hanmi Pharm lost 3.66 percent to 658,000 won, while cosmetics maker AmorePacific dropped 1.73 percent to end at 397,000 won.

South Korea's won capped the day at 1,146.5 against the U.S. dollar, up 7.3 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yields on three-year Treasury notes rose 0.3 basis point to 1.466 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond gained 0.2 basis point to 1.566 percent.


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