Tumbling biotechs weigh on Seoul stocks

Business | 7 Nov 2018 3:23 pm

South Korean stocks ended lower today as investors moved to the sidelines on geopolitical concerns over the delay of the high-level talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 10.93 points, or 0.52 percent, to 2,078.69. Trading volume was moderate at 471.03 million shares worth 6.25 trillion won (US$5.56 billion), with losers outnumbering winners 586 to 254.

The index opened a tad higher, tracking gains on Wall Street, but fluctuated throughout the session along with the ballot counting in the midterm elections in the United States, before ending the day with the modest fall.

Offshore investors and institutions unloaded 61.2 billion won and 63.3 billion won worth of local shares, respectively, while individuals picked up 96.6 billion won worth of stocks.

Bio shares tumbled dragging down the index.

Pharmaceutical giant Celltrion sank by 3.11 percent to 233,500 won, and Samsung Biologics fell by 0.25 percent to 400,000 won.

Steel and chemical stocks also lost ground on profit taking. Top steelmaker Posco skidded by 1.29 percent to 268,000 won, and LG Chem went down 2.86 percent to 340,000 won.

But the rise in blue-chip tech shares capped the fall.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics added 0.57 percent to 44,000 won, and No 2 chipmaker SK hynix gained by 1 percent to 70,800 won.

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