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Samsung shares fall despite Moon’s chip strategy

A flag bearing the Samsung logo in front of the Samsung building in southern Seoul (Yonhap)
A flag bearing the Samsung logo in front of the Samsung building in southern Seoul (Yonhap)
Market kingpin Samsung Electronics saw its shares retreat over 1 percent for the second day in a row Thursday and dropped below the 80,000-won ($70.83) mark, putting a damper on President Moon Jae-in’s ambitious drive to turn South Korea into a “chip-friendly country.”

Shares of Samsung Electronics closed at 78,500 won -- down 1,500 won, or 1.88 percent, from the previous session’s close -- on both foreign and institutional investors’ sell-offs. It started off at 1.63 percent lower and fell up to 2 percent at one point in early morning trade.

Market watchers previously forecast that the chipmaker’s shares would likely surpass the 100,000-won level. One local brokerage house’s put the target price of Samsung as high as 120,000 won per share. The stock has shown a bearish trend lately, falling short of analysts’ rosy expectations.

The tech giant’s shares began falling below 80,000 won during intraday trading a day earlier. It was the first time in nearly four months for the stock price to trade under the threshold since Dec. 30. Samsung shares barely hung onto the 80,000-won level at Wednesday’s closing bell.

Local analysts attributed the sudden losses to investors’ concerns over early post-pandemic inflation and collapsing expectations on the chip industry.

Foreigners especially turned to dump the tech shares on predictions that Korean semiconductor companies would take up a smaller global market share, backed by the newly formed coalition of tech firms in the US, they said.

Shares of the nation’s No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix have also suffered for a third consecutive session following offshore investors and institutions’ continuous offloading. The SK hynix stock traded at 117,500 won -- down 2,000 won, or 1.67 percent -- at the closing bell.

Due to the weak performance of the nation’s two largest cap stocks, both the main bourse Kospi and tech-heavy Kosdaq have maintained a downward trend for three trading sessions in a row.

The key stock index came off to a weak start, down 0.46 percent to 3,146.97 points and reached as low as 3,103.88 points at one juncture. But as it recovered some of its earlier losses, and it closed at 3,122.11 points.

The Kosdaq index also began 0.39 percent lower at 963.31 points and once fell below the 950-point mark. The secondary bourse remained weak to trade at 951.77 points at Thursday’s closing as both foreign and institutional investors’ selling dragged down the index.

By Jie Ye-eun (