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Seoul stocks edge down after US-China talks

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
South Korean stocks inched down Tuesday as investors digest the results of video talks between the presidents of the United States and China. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) slipped 2.31 points, or 0.08 percent, to close at 2,997.21 points.

Trading volume was moderate at about 567 million shares worth some 10.5 trillion won ($8.9 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 547 to 304.

Foreigners bought a net 241 billion won, while institutions offloaded 110 billion won and retail investors sold 143 billion won.

The KOSPI got off to a lackluster start as investors attempted to cash in gains from the recent rally.

Stocks hovered around the 3,000-point level during the US-China virtual talks, as investors pulled expectations that the political event may help ease the concerns about the fast-growing inflation pressure.

"The US-China talks largely reiterated the basic principles, but it did not pose immediate negative risks," Mirae Asset Securities analyst Park Gwang-nam said.

Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both retreated 0.04 percent amid lingering inflation concerns.

In Seoul, top cap Samsung Electronics slid 0.14 percent to 71,300 won, while No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix moved up 0.9 percent to 112,000 won.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics gained 0.93 percent to 872,000 won, leading chemical firm LG Chem advanced 1.57 percent to 777,000 won, and Samsung SDI gained 0.8 percent to 760,000 won.

Among losers, top automaker Hyundai Motor declined 1.2 percent to 206,500 won, with its smaller affiliate Kia decreasing 2.66 percent to 84,200 won.

The local currency was trading at 1,179.9 won against the US dollar, down 1.5 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

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