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(LEAD) Seoul shares end lower as investors keep tabs on U.S.-China trade talks

All News 16:34 January 08, 2019

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

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares ended lower Tuesday as investors watched closely to see if ongoing U.S.-China trade talks could yield productive results. The won fell against the dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 11.83 points, or 0.58 percent, to 2,025.27. Trading volume was moderate at 390.7 million shares, worth 4.72 trillion won (US$4.2 billion), with decliners outnumbering advancers 451 to 370.

Institutions and foreigners sold a combined 36.24 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting 35.84 billion won worth of stock purchases by individuals.

Investors remain wary about the Trump administration's optimism over possibly reaching a "reasonable" trade deal with China. Such concerns weighed on the main index, analysts said.

Tech, auto and steel stocks led losses.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 1.68 percent to 38,100 won, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. declined 0.83 percent to 119,500 won and leading steelmaker POSCO shed 0.20 percent at 245,500 won.

On Tuesday, Samsung Electronics came up with a lower-than-expected operating income of 10.8 trillion won in preliminary results for the October-December quarter. It was far lower than the market forecast of about 14 trillion won.

Among gainers, dominant tobacco company KT&G Corp. rose 1.0 percent to 101,000 won, leading refiner SK Innovation Co. climbed 1.72 percent to 177,000 won, and state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. gained 3.96 percent to 35,450 won.

The South Korean won traded at 1,124.10 won against the U.S. greenback, down 5.50 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed down. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.3 basis point to 1.810 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds climbed 1.5 basis points to 1.892 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul shares end lower as investors keep tabs on U.S.-China trade talks - 1


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