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Seoul stocks down on cloudy outlook for U.S.-China trade talks

All Headlines 16:00 October 10, 2019

SEOUL, Oct. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares closed sharply lower Thursday on concerns of U.S.-China trade negotiations falling apart. The Korean won continued to weaken against the U.S. dollar but recovered some ground after the White House dismissed reports of an apparent collapse of its trade talks with Beijing.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 18.1 points, or 0.88 percent, to close at 2,028.15. The trading volume was moderate at 438.5 million shares, worth some 5.4 trillion won (US$4.5 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 527 to 257.

The local shares extended losses after opening sharply lower on reports of little progress from working-level trade negotiations between the United States and China held in Washington this week.

"News about the U.S.-China trade negotiations are leading the stock market," said No Dong-kil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.

The reports suggested high-level U.S.-China trade talks, set to be held in the U.S. capital Thursday and Friday (U.S. time), may also fail to produce any progress, adding the Chinese delegation might also curtail its itinerary to head home Thursday.

"Those reports are apparently affecting investor sentiments regardless of their authenticity," No said.

In Seoul, foreign investors extended their selling streak to an eighth consecutive session, dumping a net 165.7 billion won worth of local shares.

Individuals scooped up a net 229.5 billion won, while institutions offloaded a net 96 billion won.

Most large caps closed in negative terrain, with techs and autos spearheading the market slump.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics lost 0.72 percent to 48,550 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix tumbled 2.35 percent to 79,000 won.

Top automaker Hyundai Motor plunged 2.32 percent to 126,500 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors tumbling 3.31 percent to 42,300 won.

The Korean won closed at 1,196.20 won against the dollar, down 3.10 won from the previous session's close.


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