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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down 0.74 pct on techs, autos

Stocks 16:53 May 03, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, May 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares ended lower Friday as institutions dumped large-cap stocks, such as techs and autos, with investors awaiting a U.S. jobs report and fresh developments on the trade talks between the United States and China. The Korean won fell sharply against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 16.43 points, or 0.74 percent, to close at 2,196.32. Trading volume was moderate at 609.8 million shares worth 5.19 trillion won (US$4.4 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 471 to 336.

Institutions sold a net 407 billion won worth of stocks, offsetting stock purchases worth 394 billion won by foreigners and individuals.

"Institutions turned net sellers with the trade talks between the U.S. and China remaining unresolved and the monthly U.S. employment report set to be released Friday (U.S. time)," said Suh Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co.

Most large-cap stocks declined across the board, with tech, auto and steel stocks leading market losses.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 1.3 percent to 45,300 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix declined 0.4 percent to 80,400 won. Top carmaker Hyundai Motor shed 0.7 percent to 137,500 won, and leading steelmaker POSCO was down 0.6 percent to 252,500 won.

Among gainers, No. 1 chemical firm LG Chem rose 1.5 percent to 364,500 won, and leading mobile operator SK Telecom climbed 1.8 percent to 256,000 won.

The local currency traded at 1,170.00 won against the U.S. dollar, sharply down 4.3 won from the previous day's close, hitting the lowest in 27 months.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year debts rose 0.7 basis point to 1.739 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds climbed 1.0 basis point to 1.775 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks down 0.74 pct on techs, autos - 1


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