Stocks end lower on US belt tight­en­ing

The Korea Times - - FINANCE - (Yon­hap)

Stocks ended lower Fri­day as in­vestors took a breather amid sig­nals of tighter mone­tary pol­icy in the United States. The South Korean cur­rency weak­ened against the U.S. dol­lar.

The bench­mark Korea Com­pos­ite Stock Price In­dex shed 6.54 points, or 0.31 per­cent, to close at 2,086.09.

Trad­ing vol­ume was rel­a­tively light at 292.94 mil­lion shares worth 5.15 tril­lion won ($4.57 bil­lion), with losers out­num­ber­ing win­ners 463 to 363.

In­sti­tu­tions un­loaded shares worth 288.3 bil­lion won, off­set­ting the buy­ing by re­tail and for­eign in­vestors who scooped up 225 bil­lion won and 31.3 bil­lion won of lo­cal shares, re­spec­tively.

Af­ter open­ing a tad higher, the in­dex fluc­tu­ated be­tween pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive ter­ri­tory through­out the ses­sion.

Wall Street also fin­ished mixed, with the Dow Jones in­dus­trial aver­age edg­ing up 0.04 per­cent and the Nas­daq com­pos­ite fall­ing 0.25 per­cent fol­low­ing strong gains in the pre­vi­ous ses­sion over the post-elec­tion re­lief.

“Af­ter the U.S. cen­tral bank’s meet­ing, the U.S. dol­lar and Trea­sury yields rose, which caused a weak­en­ing of U.S. shares,” said Seo Sang-young, an ex­pert at Ki­woom Se­cu­ri­ties.

On Thurs­day (U.S. time), the Fed­eral Re­serve de­cided to stand pat on in­ter­est rates but main­tained its pre­vi­ous stance that it would pull the trig­ger again next month in a move to con­tinue to tighten mone­tary pol­icy.

“Such a plan would add greater volatil­ity to the mar­ket, though any se­ri­ous down­turn would be un­likely,” he fore­cast.

Bio shares tum­bled to drag down the in­dex. Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal gi­ant Cell­trion sank 3.77 per­cent to 229,500 won, and Sam­sung BioLog­ics skid­ded 4.29 per­cent to 368,000 won on sus­pi­cions over its al­leged ac­count­ing fraud in 2015.

Chem­i­cals also lost ground. LG Chem shed 2.24 per­cent to 327,500 won, and S-Oil plunged 4.17 per­cent to 115,000 won.

LG House­hold & Health Care also slumped 4.8 per­cent to 1,110,000 won. Tech shares over­all traded higher, though top-cap ones had a mixed show­ing.

Mar­ket bell­wether Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics added 0.57 per­cent to 44,300 won, while ma­jor chip­maker SK hynix re­mained un­changed at 72,900 won.

The Korean cur­rency closed at 1,128.3 won against the U.S. dol­lar, down 11 won from Thurs­day’s close.

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