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S. Koreans' trading of foreign shares dips 16 pct in H1

All News 11:01 July 17, 2016

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- South Koreans' direct trading of foreign stocks fell considerably in the first half of the year due to a sharp drop in investment in the Chinese market, data showed Sunday.

The total transaction volume of foreign shares by South Koreans came to US$6.23 billion, or around 7 trillion won, during the January-June period.

It marks a 15.96 percent decline from $7.41 billion recorded a year earlier and 7.74 percent decrease from $6.75 billion in the latter half of 2015.

In particular, the trade volume of Chinese stocks plunged 70.43 percent to $550,000 from $1.86 million in the July-December period last year.

"As worries about the Chinese economy's hard landing was raised in January this year, the global equity market, including the U.S. and Europe, were negatively impacted," said Hwang Se-woon, a senior researcher at the Korea Capital Market Institute.

In contrast, their trade in European shares totaled $1.24 in the first six months of this year, far more than the $90,000 recorded in the latter half of 2015.

The trend, Hwang said, was temporary as it was prompted by concerns about the Chinese economy that may have peaked early this year.

"South Korean investors' interest in European shares is not that big," he added. "But investment demand for equity-linked securities (ELS) in Europe spiked as investors turned to the relatively stable Euro Stoxx 50."

lcd@yna.co.kr
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