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(LEAD) Seoul stocks snap three-day winning streak on tech slump

All Headlines 16:34 June 04, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed lower Tuesday, ending a three-day winning streak as weak economic data and the intensifying American-Sino trade war sapped investor sentiment. The local currency lost ground against the U.S. dollar.

After a choppy session, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) inched down 0.88 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,066.97. Trading volume was moderate at 428.18 million shares worth 4.77 trillion won (US$4.03 billion), with winners beating losers 529 to 294.

The index had a volatile session to end slightly lower as tech blue chips were depressed after the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 1.6 percent Monday (local time) following news of an antitrust probe into U.S. tech giants, including Amazon, Facebook and Apple.

"The local stock market went into a correction territory, tracking tech losses on Wall Street," Seo Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said. "As investors are in a bargain hunting mode following the recent fall of Korean stocks, the scope of fall was limited, however."

The Bank of Korea (BOK) said the Korean economy shrank at a faster rate of 0.4 percent in the first quarter than earlier expected due to sluggish investment and exports in the wake of trade tension between the United States and China.

Foreigners sold a net 199 billion won worth of stocks, ending their buying binge for the third consecutive session, while institutions and retail investors bought a net 192 billion won and 3.3 billion won, respectively, to offset the losses.

Tech heavyweights were among the biggest losers of the day.

Market behemoth Samsung Electronics slipped 0.8 percent to 43,450 won, and memory chip giant SK hynix sank 2.25 percent to 65,100 won.

Naver, the nation's top portal operator, dipped 3.48 percent to 111,000 won.

In contrast, bio and telecom shares were up.

Samsung BioLogics, a health care unit of Samsung, jumped 4.66 percent to 314,500 won, and SK Telecom, the nation's leading mobile carrier, increased 1.6 percent to 254,000 won.

The South Korean won closed at 1,182.8 won against the U.S. dollar, down 0.7 won from Monday's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 0.5 basis point to 1.570 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds dropped 0.8 basis point to 1.594 percent.

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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