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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down for 2nd day on grim China GDP

All News 16:49 October 18, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks ended lower for the second straight session Friday, weighed down by downbeat Chinese economic growth data. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) dipped 17.25 points, or 0.83 percent, to close at 2,060.69. Trade volume was moderate at 499 million shares worth 4.7 trillion won (US$3.98 billion).

The local stock market opened higher after Britain and the European Union announced a Brexit deal, but sentiment remained cautious because the deal must win approval from both sides.

The deal could wrap up more than three years of uncertainty after Britain decided to leave the EU, but British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a daunting task of getting it through the British Parliament, analysts said.

After China reported economic growth of 6 percent for the third quarter, missing market expectations, the local stock market drifted into negative territory.

The figure marked the weakest growth since 1992 and renewed skepticism about a recovery of global economic growth. China is South Korea's largest trading partner.

Lee Young-gon, an analyst at Hana Financial Investment, said investors reacted negatively to the Chinese data because a slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy will have an impact on the South Korean economy.

Top cap Samsung Electronics fell 1.19 percent to end at 49,900 won, and SK hynix, a global chipmaker, dropped 4.44 percent to 77,400 won.

Naver, the operator of the country's top internet portal, shed 1.63 percent to 150,500 won.

Top carmaker Hyundai Motor remained flat at 123,000 won, and its smaller affiliate Kia Motors edged down 0.12 percent to 40,600 won.

The local currency closed at 1,181.50 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.5 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed mixed. The yield on three-year Treasurys remained flat at 1.375 percent and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 0.6 basis point to 1.460 percent.


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