Seoul shares close nearly flat in see-saw trade

Business | 21 Jan 2019 5:10 pm

South Korean stocks swung between positive and negative terrain to finish a tad higher as investors awaited corporate earnings reports while keeping tabs on the trade talks between the United States and China, analysts said.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked up 0.33 point, or 0.02 percent, to finish at 2,124.61 Trading volume was moderate at 392.7 million shares worth 5.21 trillion won (US$4.62 billion), with gainers outnumbering losers 452 to 374.

The index started on a solid note after reports indicated China had offered to buy more American goods through 2024 to eliminate its trade imbalance with the U.S., but slipped in late afternoon as retail investors tried to lock in from recent gains.

Foreigners and institutions bought a net 56.35 billion won and 63.45 billion won worth of local stocks, respectively, while retail investors dumped 138.51 billion won in shares more than they bought.

Large-cap tech shares advanced to support the index.

Market kingpin Samsung Electronics added 1.06 percent to 42,750 won, and chipmaker SK hynix moved up a solid 3.72 percent to 67,000 won.

Auto shares fell following a sharp rally, with leading automaker Hyundai Motor shedding 3.05 percent to 127,000 won and its parts maker, Hyundai Mobis, shedding 2.38 percent to 205,000 won.

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