Korean stocks higher in volatile trade

Business | 11 Feb 2019 3:55 pm

South Korea's main bourse ended slightly higher today as investors cautiously awaited developments regarding trade talks between the United States and China, analysts said. The local currency weakened against the greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) added 3.68 points, or 0.17 percent, to finish at 2,180.73. Trading volume was relatively light at 398.63 million shares worth 5.15 trillion won (US$5.01 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 471 to 368.

After opening nearly flat, the index fluctuated in a tight range throughout the session. Retail investors picked up 114 billion won worth of local shares, while overseas and institutional investors dumped shares worth 57.5 billion won and 74.2 billion won, respectively.

"Investors appear to be taking a wait-and-see posture as the U.S. and China began their high-level negotiations on trade terms," Seo Sang Young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities, said.

"Until the market gauges the direction of the global trade deal, such volatility is likely to continue," he noted.

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