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Seoul stocks down late Tuesday morning

All Headlines 11:33 June 12, 2018

SEOUL, June 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks traded lower Tuesday morning, as investors moved to lock in profits from gains in the previous session while the leaders of the United States and North Korea hold talks in Singapore.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 2.66 points, or 0.11 percent, to 2,467.49 as of 11:20 a.m.

After opening slightly higher, the KOSPI extended gains on the back of solid buying by retailers. But earlier gains evaporated on heavy sell-offs by foreign investors.

The historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is now under way in Singapore for a showdown on the North's nuclear weapons program. In his opening remarks, Trump said he and Kim will have "a great discussion" and "a terrific relationship."

Shares linked to cross-border economic cooperation projects traded lower, taking a breather from previous rallies.

POSCO shed 0.67 percent and Hyundai Steel skidded 0.96 percent. Train manufacturer Hyundai Rotem also lost 0.52 percent, and Hyundai Construction fell 1.52 percent.

Tech shares moved down, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics tumbling 1.10 percent, and chip giant SK hynix decreasing 0.45 percent.

But major bio shares traded higher as investors hunted for blue-chip bargains. Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion advanced 2.06 percent and Samsung Biologics, the healthcare unit of Samsung Group, surged 2.02 percent.

The local currency was trading at 1,075.4 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.2 won from the previous session's close.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shake hands at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island in Singapore on June 12, 2018, ahead of their first historic summit. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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