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(LEAD) Seoul stocks snap 3-day winning streak, Korean won sharply down

All News 16:30 February 07, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photo and bond yields at bottom)

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks ended lower on Friday to snap a three-day winning streak, as investors went on profit-taking amid persisting woes over the new coronavirus outbreak. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 15.99 points, or 0.72 percent, to 2,211.95. Trade volume was moderate at 767 million shares worth 6.93 trillion won (US$5.8 billion), with decliners outnumbering gainers 490 to 336.

The KOSPI index retreated after advancing 5.1 percent over the previous three sessions, helped by China's stimulus measures to shore up its economy amid the fast-spreading novel coronavirus, and China's plan to cut tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods next week.

This photo taken on Feb. 7, 2020 shows the dealing room of KEB Hana Bank in Myeongdong, central Seoul. (Yonhap)

As China's moves in recent days to stimulate its financial systems gave a degree of confidence that the Chinese government won't let the spreading coronavirus outbreak have a serious impact on its economy, analysts said.

"The KOSPI jumped a lot on Thursday on news China's plan to cut taxes and offer low-interest loans to help businesses reeling from the coronavirus outbreak. Today, investors offloaded stocks on profit-taking, putting the index back to the level before the tax cut announcement," Ha In-hwan, an analyst at Meritz Securities Co., said by phone.

Institutions sold a net 465 billion won worth of stocks, exceeding individuals' net buying valued at 424 billion won.

Most large-cap stocks declined.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 1.2 percent to 60,400 won, No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. dipped 1.2 percent to 99,300 won, leading steelmaker POSCO shed 0.5 percent to hit 223,000 won, and national flag carrier Korean Air Lines Co. was down 0.4 percent at 26,900 won.

Among gainers, leading chemical firm LG Chem Ltd. rose 1.2 percent to 185,000 won, state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. climbed 0.2 percent to 25,600 won, and dominant tobacco company KT&G Corp. was up 0.9 percent at 93,700 won.

The local currency closed at 1,185.50 won to the dollar, down 6.70 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 3.1 basis points to 1.280 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond declined 3.0 basis points to reach 1.398 percent.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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