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(LEAD) Seoul stocks close with little change amid China's Evergrande risk

All News 16:35 October 22, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS bond yields at bottom, photo)

SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks closed nearly flat Friday as investors took a wait-and-see mode over the debt crisis of Evergrande Group, a leading Chinese property developer. The Korean won rose against the U.S. dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slipped 1.17 points, or 0.04 percent, to close at 3,006.16 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 684 million shares worth some 8.9 trillion won (US$7.6 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 546 to 296.

Foreigners sold a net 107 billion won, while institutions bought 184 billion won. Retail investors offloaded a net 67 billion won.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,006.16 on Oct. 22, 2021, down 1.17 points or 0.04 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

Stocks got off to a lackluster start amid the uncertainties surrounding Evergrande's debt payment, largely as the firm has to pay some US$80 million worth of bond coupons by Saturday.

The key stock index pared part of its earlier losses, tracking Asian stock rally, following Chinese reports that Evergrande paid back debt before the deadline.

"Chinese stock price rebound seem to have affected the KOSPI, in the absence of other major events," Daeshin Securities analyst Lee Kyung-min said.

In Seoul, market bellwether Samsung Electronics moved up 0.28 percent to 70,400 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained 2.28 percent to 98,500 won.

Leading car battery firm LG Chem advanced 1.49 percent to 818,000 won, pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics added 1.38 percent to 880,000 won, and the country's largest carmaker Hyundai Motor traded flat at 207,500 won.

Among losers, internet portal operator Naver lost 0.73 percent to 407,500 won, and steelmaker POSCO shed 2.41 percent to 303,500 won.

The local currency closed at 1,177.1 won against the U.S. dollar, up 0.1 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys added 5.3 basis points to 1.889 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond rose 4.9 basis points to 2.203 percent.

jwc@yna.co.kr
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