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Foreigners remain net sellers of Korean stocks in early Sept.

15:00 September 14, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- Foreign investors have continued to be net sellers of South Korean stocks so far this month but may soon turn around on apparently calming trade tension between the United States and China that has long been blamed for South Korea's steady decline in exports, analysts said.

As of Wednesday, foreigners had offloaded a net 582 billion won (US$488 million) worth of local shares, according to the Korea Exchange, the operator of the Seoul bourse.

The net drop follows a 2.6 trillion-won net selling by foreign investors last month.

South Korean stocks have remained weak throughout the year amid a steady dip in exports.

The country's exports have dropped for nine consecutive months since December, partly due to the prolonged trade dispute between the world's two largest economies that are also the world's largest importers of South Korean products.

Foreigners continued to lessen their stock holdings here in the first three trading sessions this month but then embarked on a four-day buying streak.

The turnaround followed reports of high-level U.S.-China trade negotiations to be held early next month.

"Asian stock markets, including the local market, greatly rebounded after the U.S. and China announced specific dates for their trade negotiations after suspicions that they may not be resumed," Samsung Securities analyst Seo Jeong-hoon said.

The country's stock market closed higher for a sixth consecutive session Wednesday, also breaching the psychologically significant 2,000-point mark for the first time in over a month last Thursday.

Another analyst noted the local stock may continue to rally for some time on hopes of a breakthrough at the upcoming U.S.-China trade negotiations.

"Though it may still not be critical, the damage from the U.S.-China trade dispute is growing for both countries," said Choo Hee-seop, an analyst at the Korea Investment & Securities. "Difficulties facing their people due to worsening economic indicators cannot but be a great burden to both their governments."

bdk@yna.co.kr
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