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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down 4th straight day ahead of Fed meeting

All Headlines 16:41 June 17, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS photo, bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, June 17 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks ended down for a fourth straight session Monday as investors remained cautious ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting this week and the Group of 20 summit this month. The won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 4.68 points, or 0.22 percent, to close at 2,090.73. Trade volume was moderate at 547.9 million shares worth 3.98 trillion won (US$3.4 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 472 to 342.

Foreigners sold a net 138 billion won worth of stocks, fully offsetting stock purchases valued at 136 billion won by institutions and individuals.

"Investors are now looking at the Fed's policy decision Wednesday (U.S. time) to take a cue for possible rate cuts this year," Suh Sang-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's comments that a major trade deal is unlikely from a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Osaka later this month appears to have been already factored in the market, analysts said.

Tech, auto and steel stocks led losses, with market bellwether Samsung Electronics falling 0.2 percent, top carmaker Hyundai Motor declining 0.4 percent and leading steelmaker POSCO shedding 1.7 percent.

Airlines also traded bearish, with national flag carrier Korean Air Lines falling 2.8 percent and No. 2 carrier Asiana Airlines shedding 2.3 percent.

The local currency closed at 1,186.5 won against the U.S. dollar, down 1.2 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 2.1 basis points to 1.491 percent, and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds climbed 2.6 basis points to 1.526 percent.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks down 4th straight day ahead of Fed meeting - 1


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