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(LEAD) S. Korean stocks end lower on institutional selling

All News 16:38 July 02, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended lower Monday on institutional selling as trade friction increased between the United States, China and the EU spooked investors. The won fell against the dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 54.59 points, or 2.35 percent, to 2,271.54. Trade volume was moderate at 387.81 million shares worth 5.89 trillion won (US$5.26 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 778 to 85.

Han Ji-young, an analyst at Cape Investment & Securities, blamed deepening trade wars among the world's major economies for the decline in the main index.

Institutions dumped a net 400 billion won (US$357 million) worth of shares, weighing on the main index. Foreigners purchased a net 115 billion won and individuals bought 242 billion won stocks, keeping the index from falling further.

Planned U.S. rate hikes this year and an escalating trade dispute between the United States and China weighed on the main index, Eugene Investment & Securities said.

Investors also sold off stocks related to inter-Korean economic cooperation to lock in recent profits, Han said.

Some cross-border related stocks rose after two Koreas agreed last week to conduct a joint study on modernizing and connecting cross-border roads as part of efforts to carry out agreements reached at the summit of their leaders in April.

Large-cap stocks fell across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. shed 2.36 percent to 45,550 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 2.33 percent to 83,700 won.

Among gainers, state-run utility firm KEPCO rose 1.41 percent to 32,450 won.

The local currency closed at 1,120.00 won against the U.S. dollar, down 5.50 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended on a mixed note. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.1 basis point to 2.123 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds fell 1.2 basis points to 2.340 percent.

(LEAD) S. Korean stocks end lower on institutional selling - 1


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