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(LEAD) Seoul stocks close tad lower on foreign, institutional selling

All Headlines 16:47 August 06, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at the bottom)

SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks finished mildly lower Monday as institutional and foreign buyers offloaded large-cap shares, partially offsetting heavy buying by individuals. The Korean won gained ground against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched down 1.18 points, or 0.05 percent, to close at 2,286.5. Trade volume was moderate at 241.15 million shares worth 4.5 trillion won (US$4 billion) changing hands, with gainers outpacing losers 452 to 364.

Foreigners and institutions offloaded a net 46 billion won and 600.1 billion won, respectively, while individual investors purchased a net 17.2 billion won.

"The KOSPI opened higher but headed into negative terrain around 10:30 a.m. when the Chinese market opened," said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook Securities, adding that the Chinese bourse lost between 0.8 and 1 percent.

Most large-cap shares ended mixed, with chemical firms and steelmakers leading the gains.

No. 1 steelmaker POSCO increased 2.64 percent to close at 330,500 won and Korea Zinc added 1.14 percent to 400,500 won. Hyundai Steel moved up 2.25 percent to 54,500 won.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics edged up 0.11 percent to 45,800 won. Meanwhile, SK hynix, a major chipmaker, lost 4.68 percent to end at 79,400 won.

The leading pharmaceutical company, Samsung BioLogics, advanced 1.53 percent to 398,000 won. Celltrion, meanwhile, surrendered 2.32 percent to 274,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,124 won against the U.S. dollar, up 3.6 won from the last session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, ended higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.1 basis points to 2.097 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds lost 2.3 basis points to 2.338 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks close tad lower on foreign, institutional selling - 1

khj@yna.co.kr
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