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Seoul stocks close lower amid U.S.-China tension

All Headlines 15:52 August 02, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed lower Thursday amid reports that the United States is mulling slapping stronger tariffs on Chinese goods, casting clouds over the on-going negotiation between the two countries, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 36.87 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 2,270.20. Trade volume was moderate at 347 million shares worth 4.93 trillion won (US$4.37 billion), with losers beating winners 570 to 254.

Analysts said Seoul shares closed lower as investors' sentiment was hurt by reports that the Donald Trump administration is considering imposing a whopping 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

"The concern over the trade dispute between the United States and China has weighed down investors' sentiment, having an adverse impact on the South Korean stock market," said Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co.

Foreigners offloaded a net 48 billion won, while retail investors scooped up a net 373 billion won. Institutions sold a net 375 billion won.

Market leader Samsung Electronics lost 2.15 percent to 45,550 won, and SK hynix moved down 2.8 percent to 83,200 won. LG Electronics slipped 0.27 percent to 75,100 won.

Financial shares closed bearish, with KB Financial losing 2.6 percent to 52,500 won and Shinhan Financial decreasing 1.73 percent to 42,550 won. Samsung Life Insurance lost 1.14 percent to 95,500 won.

Carmakers were also among major losers, with Hyundai Motor falling 2.33 percent to 125,500 won and its smaller sister Kia Motors slipping 2.2 percent to 31,050 won. Auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis slipped 2.19 percent to 223,500 won.

Mobile carriers closed higher. SK Telecom moved up 2.43 percent to 253,000 won, and KT increased 1.59 percent to 28,800 won. LG Uplus added 1.94 percent to 15,800 won.

Pharmaceutical firms traded mixed, with Celltron adding 0.36 percent to 281,500 won, while Samsung BioLogics fell 1.31 percent to 378,000 won.

T'way Air, which made its first appearance on the market Wednesday, closed 0.43 percent higher at 11,600 won.

The South Korean currency closed at 1,126.10 won against the U.S. dollar, down 5.50 won from Wednesday's close.

colin@yna.co.kr
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