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Seoul stocks close lower on global uncertainties

South Korean stocks closed lower Wednesday as investors were taking a wait-and-see approach over global events, including the general election in Britain, analysts said. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 8.48 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,360.14. Trade volume was moderate at 370 million shares worth 6 trillion won ($5.33 billion), with losers slightly outnumbering gainers 406 to 405.


Analysts said the sluggish trading came as investors took a wait-and-see stance on the British general election, as well as the upcoming policy meeting of the European Central Bank.

"There will be a slight adjustment as the index has increased sharply over recent sessions," said Yoo Seung-min, a researcher at Samsung Securities Co. "It is only a temporary adjustment, and the upward trend has not yet lost steam."

Foreigners bought a net 114.6 billion won, while institutions sold a net 296.6 billion won. Retail investors bought a net 126 billion won.

Carmakers mostly closed bearish, with industry leader Hyundai Motor losing 1.55 percent to 159,000 won and Hyundai Mobis, the country's largest auto parts maker, stepping down 3.81 percent to 265,000 won. No. 2 carmaker Kia Motors edged up 0.26 percent to 38,850 won.

Tech shares were mixed, with top cap Samsung Electronics decreasing 1.39 percent to 2,265,000 won, while major chipmaker SK hynix advanced 0.71 percent to 56,500 won. No. 2 home appliance maker LG Electronics shed 2.29 percent to 85,300 won.

LG Display shot up 4.27 percent to 35,400 won on a rosier outlook over its performance down the road.

Mobile carriers also closed lower, with top player SK Telecom losing 0.2 percent to 245,500 won and the second-largest KT falling 0.78 percent to 32,000 won. LG Uplus edged down 0.31 percent to 16,250 won.

The local currency closed at 1,124.00 won against the greenback, down 5.70 won from the previous session. 

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed higher. The yield on three-year Treasurys lost 0.2 basis point to 1.621 percent and the return on benchmark five-year government bonds shed 0.2 basis point to 1.829 percent.(Yonhap)

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