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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down for 2nd day on continued foreign sell-off

All News 16:58 December 04, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS photo and bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares ended lower for the second straight session on Wednesday as increased uncertainties over a U.S.-China trade deal sapped investor sentiment with foreign investors extending their selling binge to a 20th consecutive day. The Korean won sharply fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 15.18 points, or 0.73 percent, to fall to 2,068.89.

Foreigners sold a net 375 billion won (US$314 million) worth of stocks. Institutional investors purchased a net 31 billion won worth of stocks.

Uncertainties surrounding the U.S.-China trade talks will continue to weigh on investor sentiment without a clear breakthrough in the offing, analysts said. The two countries are also the two largest trading partners of South Korea.

Foreigners appeared to have offloaded stocks to "avoid risks over uncertainties" following U.S. President Donald Trump's "no deadline" comment, according to Choi Yoo-june, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

This photo taken on Dec. 4, 2019 shows KEB Hana Bank's dealing room in central Seoul. (Yonhap)

The Trump administration signaled that the U.S. intends to impose tariffs on Chinese goods if no deal is signed before the mid-December deadline. Trump said he doesn't mind waiting another year before striking an agreement with China, putting investors in a selling mood.

Large-cap stocks mixed fortunes across the board.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.9 percent to 49,450 won, and SK hynix, a major chipmaker, shed 1.27 percent to 77,700 won.

Among the gainers, top carmaker Hyundai Motor Co. rose 0.41 percent to 122,000 won (US$102), and leading auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis climbed 0.6 percent to 249,500 won.

On Wednesday, Hyundai announced its plan to invest 61 trillion won in its existing car manufacturing and in future mobility technologies by 2025 to enhance corporate competitiveness and shareholder value. It drove up its affiliates' stock prices.

The local currency closed at 1194.30 won against the U.S. dollar, down 7.10 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 5.4 basis points to 1.406 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond dropped 7.3 basis points to 1.480 percent.


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