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(LEAD) Seoul shares dip on trade spat, economic slowdown woes

All Headlines 16:38 December 10, 2018

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

SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks skidded Monday as renewed concerns over trade disputes between the United States and China, as well as signs of a global economic slowdown, prompted investors to shun risky assets, experts said. The Korean won declined against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 21.97 points, or 1.06 percent, to 2.053.79. Trading volume was moderate at 335.92 million shares worth 4.53 trillion won (US$4.02 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 676 to 173.

Foreigner investors dumped a net 270.9 billion won worth of local shares, while institutions and individuals picked up a net 116.4 billion won and 133.7 billion won worth of shares, respectively.

"While no fresh positive leads are out there, investors fretted about signs of renewed uncertainties over trade frictions between the U.S. and China," said Seo Sang-young, an expert at Kiwoon Securities.

Meng Wanzhou, China's telecom giant Huawei's chief financial officer, was detained earlier this month, which stoked fears that the truce in trade disputes between Washington and Beijing could meet further challenges.

China also reported weaker-than-expected data on trade, pointing to slower global demand, Seo added.

Most big-cap shares lost ground, with tech shares leading the downturn.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics dipped 1.83 percent to 40,200 won, and major chipmaker SK hynix sank 1.95 percent to 65,500 won.

LG Chem tumbled 1.85 percent to 345,000 won, and top steelmaker POSCO fell 0.6 percent to 248,000 won.

Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion also fell 0.41 percent to 244,500 won, and No. 1 carmaker Hyundai Motor decreased 0.45 percent to 110,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,126.5 won against the U.S. dollar, down 6.7 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, were higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 3.1 basis points to 1.803 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds shed 1.2 basis points to 1.873 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul shares dip on trade spat, economic slowdown woes - 1

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