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(LEAD) Seoul shares slump due to trade issue uncertainties, growth

All Headlines 17:06 December 05, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks skidded on Wednesday as intensifying uncertainties over U.S.-China trade talks and gloomy growth woes dulled investor appetite for risky assets. The Korean won declined against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 13.04 points, or 0.62 percent, to 2.101.31. Trading volume was heavy at 484.1 million shares worth 4.66 trillion won (US$4.18 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 510 to 323.

Foreigners dumped a net 197 billion won worth of local shares, while institutional investors purchased a net 93.1 billion won and individuals bought a net 81.3 billion won.

Analysts said the sharp decline came as hawkish comments were made by the U.S. government overnight against the latest Washington-Beijing ceasefire.

The revived fears over a renewed trade war between the two economic heavyweights sparked a stock sell-off in the United States.

"The bearish Wall Street results weighed heavily on KOSPI, as usual," said Seo Sang-young from Kiwoom Securities Co. "Also, growth concerns resurfaced as yields for long-term bonds dropped lower than those of short-term bonds in the U.S."

The so-called inverted yield curve is believed to be a signal of a weaker economy.

Most shares went south across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.66 percent to 41,450 won, and SK hynix, the second-biggest share on KOSPI, lost 1.16 percent to 68,200 won.

Chemical makers ended in negative territory, with industry leader LG Chem slipping 1.12 percent to 354,500 won and Kumho Petro Chemical skidding 3.43 percent to 90,100 won.

Kolon Corp., the holding company of South Korea's top textile and chemical materials maker Kolon Industries Inc., declined 3.94 percent to 34,100 won on news that its chairman is under investigation for tax dodging allegations.

Car companies were mixed. Top automaker Hyundai Motor stayed flat at 107,500 won, and its sister Kia Motors gained 0.49 percent to 30,600 won.

The local currency closed at 1,114.1 won against the U.S. dollar, down 8.8 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 1.3 basis points to 1.901 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds declined 3.6 basis points to 1.940 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul shares slump due to trade issue uncertainties, growth - 1

brk@yna.co.kr
(END)

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