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(LEAD) Seoul shares end down on large-cap losses

All Headlines 16:45 December 04, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended down Tuesday as investors offloaded large-cap stocks amid eased trade tensions between the United States and China. The won rose against the dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 17.58 points, or 0.82 percent, to 2,114.35. Trading volume was moderate at 498.74 million shares worth 5.43 trillion won (US$4.9 billion), with losers outnumbering winners 433 to 393.

Institutional investors sold a net 361 billion won worth of stocks on profit-taking after the main index jumped 1.7 percent a session earlier. But foreigners and individuals bought a net 341 billion won worth of stocks.

"As President Donald Trump has named U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, one of his cabinet's most strident trade hawks, to spearhead working-level talks with China, investors may think the trade war is not coming to an end soon," Suh Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.

Over the weekend, Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, reached a 90-day cease-fire agreement in the trade war. Shares on the U.S. and emerging markets rallied on eased trade tensions.

Tech, auto and steel stocks led losses.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 2.54 percent to 42,150 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. declined 2.13 percent to 69,000 won. Top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. shed 0.92 percent to close at 107,500 won, and leading steelmaker POSCO was down 1.73 percent to 255,000 won.

Domestic players were the main gainers, with the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. rising 2.86 percent to 30,600 won and dominant tobacco company KT&G Corp. climbing 1.45 percent to 105,000 won.

The local currency traded at 1,105.30 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.40 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1 basis point to 1.914 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds declined 2.2 basis points to 1.976 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul shares end down on large-cap losses - 1

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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