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(LEAD) Seoul stocks snap 3-day winning streak on renewed U.S.-China tensions

All News 16:34 May 04, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES paras 4, 6-7; ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, May 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks snapped a three-day rally to drop more than 2 percent Monday on renewed tensions between the United States and China amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The Korean won sharply fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) shed 52.19 points, or 2.68 percent, to close at 1,895.37.

Trading volume was high at 1.1 billion shares worth 10.1 trillion won (US$8.2 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 549 to 312.

Investor sentiment was spooked by renewed tensions between the world's two largest economies. U.S. President Donald Trump indicated he may consider imposing new tariffs on China over its handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A currency trader walks past a screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) at a dealing room at Hana Bank in Seoul on May 4, 2020. (Yonhap)

"With U.S. stocks moving down during the holiday period here, rising concerns over the U.S.-China trade feud dampened the local stock market," said Noh Dong-kil, a researcher at NH Securities.

Individual investors bought a net 1.69 trillion won worth of stocks, their largest ever daily purchase on the Seoul bourse that broke the previous record of 1.55 trillion won on Aug. 10, 2011.

However, their record-breaking buying binge was not enough to push up the index as foreigners sold a net 940 billion won, while institutional investors offloaded a net 804 billion won of local stocks.

Most large-cap stocks ended in negative terrain.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics plunged 3 percent to 48,500 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 3.23 percent to 81,000 won.

South Korea's No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor lost 2.24 percent to 91,500 won, while auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis declined 1.45 percent to 169,500 won.

Top chemical firm LG Chem tumbled 4.38 percent to 360,000 won, and leading steelmaker POSCO dived 3.25 percent to 178,500 won. However, the country's top web portal operator Naver advanced 0.76 percent to 199,000 won.

The South Korean won closed at 1,229.10 won against the U.S. dollar, sharply down 10.9 won from the previous session's close.

The local financial market will close Tuesday for Children's Day.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 3.1 basis points to 0.975 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond slid 3.1 basis points to 1.215 percent.

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