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(LEAD) Foreign investors snap 21-day selling streak

All News 17:28 December 06, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 5 paras)
By Chung Joo-won

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- Foreigners on Friday ended their selling binge of South Korean stocks that had lasted the previous 21 sessions, helped by growing optimism that the protracted Sino-American trade dispute may reach an interim deal before a mid-December deadline.

Foreign investors net bought 43 billion won (US$36 million) worth of local stocks after dumping a total of 5.2 trillion won worth of stocks in the Nov. 7-Dec. 5 period, according to the data from the Korea Exchange (KRX), the bourse operator.

Their buying mode came amid growing hope for a small deal between the United States and China. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday (local time) that the trade talks with China were "moving along well."

The remark fueled expectations that the world's two largest economies could sign an interim trade deal before the Dec. 15 deadline, when another round of heavy tariffs by the U.S. on Chinese goods are set to be imposed.

Thanks to strong foreign buying, the country's benchmark index, the KOSPI, rose 21.11 points, or 1.02 percent, to close at 2,081.85 on Friday.

Despite the much-awaited turn to net buying, local market watchers offered mixed views on whether foreign buying will continue.

"Foreigners turned to net buyers," Lee Won, an analyst at Bookook Securities, said. "Considering the positive signs for the U.S.-China interim deal, foreign buying may continue till early next week," he added.

"There are high chances of foreign buying continuing as we've seen similar cases in the past," Noh Dong-gil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said.

On the other hand, Lee Kyung-min, an analyst at Daeshin Securities, warned that foreigners may be taking "a break" for further sell-offs.

"Foreigners' net buying is not large enough to hold on to expectations for a lasting buying mode," he said, pointing to the uncertainties stemming from the Sino-American trade negotiations and a British general election.


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