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Foreigners' stock sell-offs smaller than last year's: data

All News 11:32 December 09, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- Foreign investors' sell-offs of South Korean stocks that lasted for 21 days in a row spooked investor sentiment here, but their selling binge so far this year has been smaller than last year's in total, data showed on Monday.

Amid the uncertainties from the protracted Sino-American trade war, foreign investors net sold some 5.2 trillion won (US$4.4 billion) worth of stocks for 21 straight sessions in the Nov. 7-Dec. 5 period. They turned net buyers on Friday.

The selling spree pulled down the country's benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), which finished at 2,053.56 points on Thursday, the lowest since Oct. 11.

Some market watchers are wary that the halt may be temporary and foreigners' selling mode may resume at any time, becoming a major drag on the local stock market.

Foreigners' stock sell-offs smaller than last year's: data - 1

Local analysts contended against such pessimism, however, citing that foreigners' net selling from the Jan. 1-Dec. 6 period amounts to about 800 billion won, only 14 percent of last year's net selling totaling about 5.7 trillion won.

"Their track records in the past three to four months are not sufficient to determine foreigners' mid to long-term appetite," Kyobo Securities analyst Kim Hyung-ryeol said.

Despite the lingering uncertainties from the U.S.-China trade tussle, analysts said their accumulated stock sell-offs may not exceed 1 trillion won this year.

"The upcoming Dec. 15 deadline for the interim U.S.-China deal seems to have weighed down on foreigners, prodding them to cash in part of their gains in major information technology stocks," Jung Yong-taek, a senior researcher at IBK Securities, said.

IT-kingpin Samsung Electronics plunged as low as 49,450 won on Wednesday, the lowest since Oct. 11, weighed down by heavy foreign selling.


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