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(LEAD) Seoul stocks lose ground on uncertainties at home, abroad

All News 16:29 April 10, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed lower Monday as investors were concerned over the geopolitical tensions surrounding the Korean Peninsula coupled with overnight losses on Wall Street, analysts said.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 18.41 points, or 0.86 percent, to close at 2,133.32. Trade volume was high at 498.2 million shares worth 3.9 trillion won (US$3.41 billion), with losers far outnumbering gainers at 727 to 101.

Analysts said Monday's decline was in part attributable to the rising geopolitical tension between the two Koreas, with experts expecting Pyongyang to stage another nuke test in the near future.

On Monday, the South Korean military confirmed the U.S. is sending a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier battle group to waters near the Korean Peninsula due to worries surrounding North Korean provocations.

Investors' sentiment was also limited on the Washington's strike on Syria, which could give adverse impact on the U.S. stock market down the road.

"The decline in the U.S. stock market, sparked by the lackluster job figures and concerns over Washington's strike on Syria, gave impact (on the South Korean stock market)," said Kim Byong-yon, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

Foreigners offloaded a net 54.2 billion won, while individuals scooped up a net 6.3 billion won. Institutions sold a net 4.3 billion won.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics rose 0.82 percent at 2,097,000 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 1.61 percent at 49,000 won. LG Electronics moved down 4.23 percent at 67,900 won.

Chemical firms were also losers, with industry leader LG Chem decreasing 1.23 percent at 281,000 won. No. 1 cosmetics maker AmorePacific fell 1.28 percent at 270,500 won.

Mobile carriers lost ground, with SK Telecom falling 0.98 percent at 252,500 won and KT losing 1.38 percent at 32,250 won. LG Uplus shed 0.78 percent at 14,700 won.

Carmakers were mixed, with No. 1 Hyundai Motor advancing 1.04 percent and its auto-parts arm Hyundai Mobis losing 0.89 percent. Kia Motors remained unchanged at 35,550 won.

The local currency closed at 1,142.20 won against the U.S. dollar, down 7.7 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 4.1 basis points to 1.722 percent, while the return on the benchmark five-year government bond gained 5.5 basis points to 1.926 percent.


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