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(LEAD) Seoul shares end lower on skepticism about U.S.-China trade deal

Stocks 17:00 December 06, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended lower Thursday as investors remain skeptical about the U.S.-China trade deal over the next three months. The won fell against the dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 32.62 points, or 1.55 percent, to 2.068.69. Trading volume was moderate at 528.19 million shares worth 5.44 trillion won (US$4.9 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 696 to 154.

Foreigners offloaded a net 387 billion won worth of stocks. But institutions and individuals bought a combined 375 billion won stocks, keeping the KOSPI from falling further.

Investors remain wary ahead of hot-button issues that could result in volatility for the rest of the year, including Thursday's meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a 90-day deadline for U.S.-China trade talks and Britain's Dec. 11 parliamentary vote on a Brexit plan, analysts said.

Tech, steel and chemicals stocks led losses, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. falling 2.29 percent to 40,500 won, leading steelmaker POSCO declining 0.40 percent to 248,000 won and No. 1 chemical firm LG Chem Ltd. shedding 0.28 percent to 353,500 won.

Among gainers, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. jumped 2.79 percent to 110,500 won, and leading wireless services provider SK Telecom Co. gained 1.95 percent to 287,500 won.

The local currency traded at 1,120.30 won against the U.S. dollar, down 6.20 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 6.2 basis points to 1.839 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds declined 6.2 basis points to 1.878 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul shares end lower on skepticism about U.S.-China trade deal - 1

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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