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S. Korean stocks closer lower on foreign sell-offs, Korean won dips to fresh 28-month low

15:46 May 17, 2019

SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korean shares closed lower Friday as foreign investors extended their selling streak to a seventh consecutive session, the longest since the start of the year. The local currency lost more ground against to the U.S. greenback, hitting a new low in over 28 months.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) lost 11.89 points, or 0.58 percent, to close at 2,055.80. Trading volume was moderate at 519 million shares worth some 4.86 trillion won (US$4.06 billion) with losers outpacing gainers 516 to 316.

Local stocks remained up until late morning after opening a tad higher, taking a cue from overnight gains on Wall Street.

But in the afternoon session, foreign investors dumped shares, dragging down the index.

"Investor sentiment continued to weaken after President (Donald) Trump signed an executive order prohibiting business deals with China's Huawei," Seo Sang-young, a researcher at Kiwoom Securities, said.

Foreigners remained net sellers for a seventh consecutive session, offloading a net 198 billion won worth of local shares.

Individuals and institutions purchased a net 180 billion won and 5.8 billion won, respectively.

Most large caps ended in negative terrain with market kingping Samsung Electronics losing 0.84 percent to 41,200 won while top pharmaceutical company Celltrion shed 0.51 percent to 195,500 won.

Autos suffered losses on revived fears of additional U.S. import tariffs on their U.S.-bound shipments.

Industry leader Hyundai Motor plunged 1.57 percent to 125,500 won with its smaller affiliate Kia Motors slipping 0.83 percent to 42,000 won.

Top auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis lost 0.24 percent to 212,00 won.

The local currency continued to move near the 1,200 won against the U.S. dollar, closing at 1,195.70 won to the dollar, down 4.20 won from the previous session's close.

The won-dollar rate marks the lowest since 1,199.00 won to the dollar posted on Jan. 9, 2017.



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