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(LEAD) Seoul stocks close sharply lower on foreign sell-off

All News 16:25 December 06, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's main stock index tumbled Wednesday as foreign investors remained net sellers of stocks, with sentiment soured over geopolitical worries in the Middle East. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 35.75 points, or 1.42 percent, to close at 2,474.37. Trade volume was moderate at 503 million shares worth 6.56 trillion won (US$6 billion).

The local stock market opened lower as investors took their cues from overnight declines on Wall Street.

Geopolitical worries in the Middle East emerged on news that U.S. President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Lee Young-kon, a Hana Financial Investment analyst, said local stock markets are expected to face an "adjustment mode for the time being" after recent rallies.

Samsung Electronics fell 2.42 percent to end at 2,501,000 won, and SK hynix, a global chipmaker, edged down 0.51 percent to 77,500 won.

Naver, the operator of the country's top Internet portal, shed 0.84 percent at 826,000 won.

Automakers traded in positive terrain, with industry leader Hyundai Motor up 0.31 percent to 162,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors gaining 0.44 percent at 33,900 won.

The local currency closed at 1,093.70 won against the U.S. dollar, down 7.9 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 2.8 basis points to 2.084 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond declined 2.5 basis points to 2.271 percent.

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