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(LEAD) Seoul stocks down for 2nd day over renewed woes over U.S.-China trade row

All News 16:28 May 12, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed lower Tuesday for a second straight day on renewed concerns over the trade row between the United States and China. The Korean won fell against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 13.23 points, or 0.68 percent, to finish at 1,922.17. Trading volume was moderate at 783 million shares worth 9.5 trillion won (US$7.75 billion), with losers far outpacing gainers 671 to 183.

U.S. President Donald Trump insisted that he was "not interested" in seeking new negotiations with China on the ongoing trade row. The world's top two economies are also major trade partners of South Korea.

A currency dealer wearing a mask passes an electronic board in the trading room of KB Kookmin Bank in Seoul on May 12, 2020. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slid 13.23 points, or 0.68 percent, to finish at 1,922.17. (Yonhap)

"The resurgence of the trade row between the U.S. and China has been limiting the growth of Seoul shares recently," Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.

Investor sentiment was also dampened by the rising number of new COVID-19 cases in South Korea.

Despite earlier signs of a slowdown, which allowed the country to lift its tough social distancing scheme, the number of virus patients has started to rebound since the weekend among clubbers.

Foreigners dumped a net 310 billion won, while individuals scooped up a net 606 billion won. Institutions sold more shares than they bought at 298 billion won.

In Seoul, most blue chips lost ground.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics fell 1.03 percent to 47,900 won, and top battery maker Samsung SDI moved down 1.05 percent to 284,000. No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix, on the other hand, rose 1.42 percent to 85,700 won.

Top chemical firm LG Chem lost 2.45 percent to 338,000 won, and cosmetics maker AmorePacific moved down 1.99 percent to 172,000 won. Oil refiner SK Innovation decreased 2.15 percent to 95,400 won.

Leading carmaker Hyundai Motor decreased 1.92 percent to 91,900 won, and its auto parts arm Hyundai Mobis slid 1.45 percent. Kia Motors moved down 2.78 percent to 29,700 won.

Pharmaceutical firms, on the other hand, closed higher. Leading player Samsung BioLogics rose 1.02 percent to 592,000 won, and Celltrion rose 0.24 percent to 211,000 won.

The South Korean won closed at 1,224.80 won against the U.S. dollar, down 4.30 won from the previous session.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys fell 4 basis points to 0.886 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond shed 4.4 basis points to 1.142 percent.

colin@yna.co.kr
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